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Incorporating Human Dimension Objectives into Habitat Planning and Delivery

Date: Time: 3:30 pm
Hardin Hall Room: 107 | Auditorium
Additional Info: HARH
Contact: Katie Pekarek,
The 2012 North American Waterfowl Management Plan explicitly recognized the need to increase recruitment and retention of waterfowl hunters, birdwatchers, and wetland supporters. The incorporation of human dimension objectives within the NAWMP has compelled waterfowl and wetland managers to consider whether and to what extent landscape characteristics such as public land access, they type, amount and location of wetlands, and site infrastructure will increase support for wetland conservation among user groups. Further, it has forced the waterfowl community to consider the possible trade-offs between managing land to achieve biological versus social objectives. We used publicly available, long-term data sets to illustrate a method of incorporating human dimensions into waterfowl habitat planning and management. We used U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service waterfowl harvest survey data, U.S. Geological Survey band encounter data, and Cornell Lab of Ornithology eBird data to summarize travel characteristics of wetland bird enthusiasts (i.e., waterfowl hunters and birdwatchers) in the Atlantic Flyway. Over 90% of all trips by wetland bird user trips occurred within their state of residence. We used data from New York to demonstrate how to construct discrete choice recreation demand models to identify factors that influence site selection and participation. We demonstrate how model outputs, such as the expected change in the number and geographic distribution of recreational trips (i.e., hunting or birdwatching), can be used as an objective metric to evaluate the benefits of alternative habitat acquisition and restoration projects relative to human dimension objectives of the NAWMP. These data and methods show promise for in incorporating human dimension objectives into habitat delivery and understanding.

Biography: Pat Devers is the Science Coordinator for the Black Duck Joint Venture with the USFWS’s Division of Migratory Bird Management. Pat’s main responsibilities are to coordinate monitoring and research efforts in Canada and the U.S. to provide scientific information needed to support population and habitat management for black ducks and other wetland species that share its habitat. Pat also provides technical support for the implementation of Black Duck Adaptive Harvest Management. Pat’s interests include population ecology and the application of decision analysis to natural resource conservation management. Pat has a Ph.D. in Wildlife Sciences from Virginia Tech, M.S. in Wildlife Science from the University of Arizona, and a B.S. in Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University. Pat enjoys camping, hiking, and fishing with his wife and two sons. Pat also enjoys upland gamebird and waterfowl hunting.

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