Wildlife Management in Novel Ecosystems


Faculty Associate Anne Short Gianotti and former post-doctoral associate John Connors examined the challenges of wildlife management and conservation in human-dominated landscapes. They explored how the management of deer in urban and suburban landscapes presents new challenges for wildlife managers. In these landscapes, the values and perceptions of stakeholders are increasingly important in defining whether or not wildlife is a problem and how to appropriately address this problem. The diversity of these views and how they play out at local levels have major implications for shaping the environment and ecosystem services.

In August 2018, Short Gianotti and Connors were awarded a $375,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to support this ongoing work.

They began this analysis by looking at the fragmented hunting regulations across communities in Massachusetts and the process by which some areas, particularly the Blue Hills, have decided to re-introduce hunting. The Massachusetts Department of Fish and Wildlife was also involved in this research, and Short Gianotti and Connors distributed a survey to all municipalities in Massachusetts to gather a comprehensive dataset on deer management in the state.

As part of this research effort, Connors convened a Pardee Center seminar titled “Urban and Suburban Landscapes: What Does Nature Mean?” in October 2016.