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Contraceptive Testing

Joann Brennan
Contraceptive Testing. Scientists from the Colorado Division of Wildlife research ways to manage elk herd populations at Rocky Mountain National park. A catheter inserted into the neck of an elk will be used to draw blood over a number of days as researchers monitor contraceptive drug levels in the blood stream. Division of Wildlife, Fort Collins, Colorado.
From the series Managing Eden
Summer 2000
Pigment print
20 x 24 inches
Courtesy of the artist
© Joann Brennan – Managing Eden

Human beings are omnivores by nature, which means they can eat plants and meat and seeds and anything else they deem edible. Once the species figured out how to hunt successfully, it sometimes caused the extinction, or near-extinction, of other animals. In an effort to preserve biodiversity, some of these animals have been given protected status and have reestablished themselves. But this protection often means they are isolated from their natural predators and sometimes their natural predators are also threatened species, such as wolves. Human wildlife management is often a poor substitute for natural cycles. Joann Brennan calls this series of photographs Managing Eden, a title that suggests a bit of overconfidence on our part. “Our impact on nature,” the artist writes, “has made our touch essential to the lives of the animals we have imperiled.”