Urban Ecosystems

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

Collaboration for community-based wildlife management

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

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.


collaboration wildlife management community-based 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bright, A.D., Manfredo, M.J. and Fulton, D.C. (2000) Segmenting the public: An application of value orientations to wildlife planning in Colorado. Wildlife Society Bulletin 28, 218–226.Google Scholar
  2. Chase, L.C., Schusler, T.M. and Decker, D.J. (2000) Innovations in stakeholder involvement: What's the next step? Wildlife Society Bulletin 28, 208–217.Google Scholar
  3. Curtis, P.D., Decker, D.J. and Schusler, T.M. (2000) Beyond citizen task forces: The future of community-based deer management. In Proceedings 19th Vertebrate Pest Conference (T.P. Salmon and A.C. Crabb, eds.), University of California, Davis.Google Scholar
  4. Decker, D.J. and Chase, L.C. (1997) Human dimensions of living with wildlife—A management challenge for the 21st century. Wildlife Society Bulletin 25, 788–795.Google Scholar
  5. Decker, D.J., Raik, D.B. and Siemer, W.F. (2004) Community-Based Deer Management: A Practitioners' Guide. Northeast Wildlife Damage Management Research and Outreach Cooperative, Ithaca, pp. 52.Google Scholar
  6. Decker, D.J., Schusler, T.M., Brown, T.L. and Mattfeld, G.F. (2000) Co-management: An evolving process for the future of wildlife management? Transactions of the 65th North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference 3.Google Scholar
  7. Fishbein, M. and Manfredo, M.J. (1992) A theory of behavior change. In Influencing Human Behavior: Theory and Applications in Recreation, Tourism, and Natural Resources Management (M.J. Manfredo, ed.), pp. 29–50. Sagamore Publishing, Champaign.Google Scholar
  8. Korten, D.C. (1981) The management of social transformation. Public Administration Review 41, 609–618.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Lund, R.C. (1997) A cooperative, community-based approach for the management of suburban deer populations. Wildlife Society Bulletin 25, 488–490.Google Scholar
  10. Matthews, F.D. (1999) Politics for People: Finding a Responsible Public Voice. University of Illinois Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  11. NRC (1996) Understanding Risk: Informing Decisions in a Democratic Society. National Academy Press, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  12. Pearse, P.H. and Wilson, J.R. (1999) Local co-management of fish and wildlife: The Quebec experience. Wildlife Society Bulletin 27, 676–691.Google Scholar
  13. Raik, D.B., Decker, D.J. and Siemer, W.F. (2003) Dimensions of capacity in community-based suburban deer management: The managers' perspective. Wildlife Society Bulletin 31, 854–864.Google Scholar
  14. Reich, R.B. (1985) Public administration and public deliberation: An interpretive essay. Yale Law Journal 94, 1617–1641.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Riley, S.J., Decker, D.J., Carpenter, L.H., Organ, J.F., Siemer, W.F., Mattfeld, G.F. and Parsons, G. (2002) The essence of wildlife management. Wildlife Society Bulletin 30, 585–593.Google Scholar
  16. Schusler, T.M., Chase, L.C. and Decker, D.J. (2000) Community-based co-management: Sharing responsibility when tolerance for wildlife is exceeded. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 5, 34–49.Google Scholar
  17. Schusler, T.M., Decker, D.J. and Pfeffer, M.J. (2003) Social learning for collaborative natural resource management. Society & Natural Resources 15, 309–326.Google Scholar
  18. Wondolleck, J.M. and Yaffee, S.L. (2000) Making Collaboration Work: Lessons from Innovation in Natural Resource Management.Island Press, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  19. Yankelovich, D. (1991) Coming to Public Judgment: Making Democracy Work in a Complex World.Syracuse University Press, New York.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel J. Decker
    • 1
    Email author
  • 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

Personalised recommendations