Surprise, Surprise — A Flying Squirrel! Learning to Protect the Unexpected

Nina Nygren, Taru Peltola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Non-human nature is often unpredictable and continues to surprise us. How can we take this into account and use it in ways leading to more robust conservation strategies? We analyse the emergence and implications of surprises in the context of conservation of strictly protected Siberian flying squirrels in Finland. Nocturnal, arboreal flying squirrels keep surprising surveyors, planners and landowners by their flickering presence. We use field interviews and other material to analyse surprises as relational and affective phenomena - both the surprised observer and an unexpected event are needed to create a surprise. We argue that surprises can help to reconsider situations and identify new knowledge about non-human nature, and hence improve conservation strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)378-386
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Siberian flying squirrel, surprise, conservation, affect, anticipation

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1


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