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Urban Ecosystems

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 227–236 | Cite as

Collaboration for community-based wildlife management

  • Daniel J. Decker
  • Daniel A B. Raik
  • Len H. Carpenter
  • Jhon F. Organ
  • Tania M. Schusler
Article

Perhaps as remarkable as the general upsurge in public interest in wildlife over the last 30 years is the trend toward greater community-based wildlife management since the late 1980s. This paper discusses the challenges and opportunities at the local, community scale of collaboration for wildlife management. We explain how collaborative activity between the professional wildlife manager and community stakeholders can lead to improved identification of human-wildlife interactions and better understanding of wildlife-related impacts that are of primary management concern in the community. Community-based collaborative decision making can also effectively result in the specification of management actions that are acceptable to a community. Furthermore, agency-community collaboration can lead to co-management that goes beyond stakeholder input or involvement in decision making about management objectives and actions, and includes appropriate sharing of responsibility for implementation and evaluation. A growing role for the wildlife agency in such situations is facilitating the development of local capacity by filling information and process needs so that individuals and groups in a community can participate effectively in collaborative efforts appropriate to the necessary level of agency-community engagement. This opportunity for the wildlife profession promises to be rewarding and have lasting positive influence on communities for the benefit of wildlife management. However, most agencies cannot address every issue at a community level. Public wildlife managers need guidelines for judgment about when to engage in community-based wildlife management. They need to assess various risks associated with not engaging in a particular issue and to prioritize the potential situations where various degrees of community engagement may be desirable. This paper highlights these intriguing challenges and opportunities associated with community-based wildlife management.

Keywords

collaboration wildlife management community-based 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel J. Decker
    • 1
  • Daniel A B. Raik
    • 2
  • Len H. Carpenter
    • 3
  • Jhon F. Organ
    • 4
  • Tania M. Schusler
    • 5
  1. 1.Human Dimensions Research UnitCornell UniversityIthaca
  2. 2.Human Dimensions Research UnitCornell UniversityIthaca
  3. 3.Wildlife Management InstituteFort Collins
  4. 4.Division of Federal AidHadley
  5. 5.Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins CountyIthaca

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