Human Dimensions II

Contributed Paper
ROOM: Rooms 18 – Cochiti and 30 – Taos Combined

1:10PM Modeling Retention Rates of Learn to Hunt Participants in Wisconsin
Emily E. Iehl
In hopes of slowing nation-wide declines in hunter numbers, Wisconsin and other state agencies have implemented “Learn to Hunt” programs. These programs aim to increase hunter numbers by recruiting and training people with no prior hunting experience. Evaluators have pointed out that the program may target the children of hunters, who would likely learn to hunt from their parents regardless of their participation in LTH. As a result, recent hunter recruitment, retention, and reactivation (HR3) efforts have shifted focus from short-term, youth-recruitment LTH programs to extended adult-recruitment-and-retention LTH programs. We will evaluate these programs by using mark-recapture survival analysis to model the retention rates of novice youth and adult Learn to Hunt participants and comparing them to control groups who have not participated in LTH. These estimates will guide Wisconsin’s HR3 programming in the future and cast light on the changing demographics of wildlife stakeholders.
1:30PM Do Wildlife Value Orientations Inform Management Preferences for Wild Pigs?
Erin E. Harper; Stephanie Shwiff; Jessica Tegt
The increase and spread of wild pigs (Sus scrofa) across the United States is of increasing concern to agricultural producers, land managers, and government. Wild pigs cause extensive damage to property, carry disease, and are generalists that will eat virtually anything. We explored how components of a social psychological theory, the cognitive hierarchy, and demographics influence public preferences for a variety of management actions designed to control wild pig populations. Mississippi State University, in conjunction with National Wildlife Research Center conducted a survey of the public in all 50 United States sending 400 surveys to each state, 200 urban residents and 200 rural. Likert-type statements were used to measure wildlife value orientations, attitudes toward wild pigs, and acceptance of five management methods (hunting, hunting with dogs, trap and remove, aerial gunning, and use of a toxicant) for wild pigs. Regression analyses were run for each of the proposed management strategies and a qualitative analysis was conducted on reasons for acceptance or opposition toward the use of a toxicant. The preferences for wild pig management varied greatly among states without wild pigs, states that have a recently acquired low-density wild pig population, and states with long-standing dense populations of wild pigs. As expected, respondents with a domination value orientation were more accepting of lethal control measures and those with a mutualism value orientation were less accepting of lethal control measures. However, this did not hold true for all states. In states with high-density wild pig populations a higher percentage of mutualists were accepting of lethal control, including the use of a toxicant. Our results will inform management strategies across the United States by highlighting the actions that will be most accepted in each state.
1:50PM Impact of Multiple Platforms on Chronic Wasting Disease Communication Strategies
Chad Stewart
Communicating topics of importance to the public is necessary for successful wildlife management strategies. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has recently identified Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a contagious neurological disease in cervids, as an important focus of management since its discovery in the state’s free ranging deer in 2015. The Department has expended significant effort recently highlighting information regarding disease management, biology, and potential future impacts to sportsmen and the general public. Communication strategies have historically focused on press releases; however, new alternative approaches including the use of social media show promise in reaching a broader audience more effectively. We released common messages about CWD across three different media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and GovDelivery email service) to determine the broadest reach to Departmental followers. Using analytics from each platform, we sought to highlight examples and lessons learned with these and other approaches, including public meetings and billboards in trying to reach a broad audience. We found that despite a potentially larger audience via our GovDelivery email service, social media platforms, especially Facebook, reached a larger audience initially. We estimate that less than 25% of sportsmen are being reached through current communication efforts about CWD, resulting in the need to continually examine and improve how target audiences are engaged on important management topics. The use of social media platforms is an important addition to agency communication efforts. However, diversifying communication strategies, including maintaining traditional approaches such as press releases, is necessary to maximize exposure and deliver messages to large audiences.
2:10PM Conservation and Utilization of the White-tailed Mexican Deer as a Detonator of Social Welfare in the Sierra De Huautla, Biosphere Reserve, Central Mexico.
David García-Solórzano
To effectively implement conservation strategies it is prerequisite to alleviate social problems in human communities associated with biological richness sites. This is a common scenario in developing countries as Mexico.The biosphere reserve of the Sierra de Huautla (RBSH) in the State of Morelos, is the las bastion ofbiodiversity in the central region of Mexico. In RBSH occur relevant and emblematic wildlife species such thewhite-tailed Mexican deer, Mexican beaded lizard and five of the six species of felines that are distributed in Mexico, as well 180 bird species, including theendemic banded quail . RBSH is a good representative sample of tropical deciduous forest,a highly vulnerable ecosystem. Historically the inhabitants of the Sierra de Huautla have harvested and managed wildlife without goodmanagement practices in order to ensure the conservation of resources in a sustainable manner. For instance,transhumance ranching is a common practice and represents one of the few alternatives for survival in the region. Social marginalization and negative economic factors have led the mostly illegal migration of the nativeinhabitants to the United States of North America, with the aim of sending money for the subsistence of themembers of the families who still inhabit the RBSH, which has generated family breakdown and socialfractures. Additionally, traditional agricultural activities have proved to be inefficient and insufficient to generate economicdevelopment and social welfare in the RBSH. Since 2010, The Mexican Alliance for Wildlife Conservation in conjunction with official state and federal agencies has implementednew strategies to contribute to the development of the region under the scheme of management units for wildlife conservation (UMA). Implementing community management of natural resources in order to generate human development and maintaining functional ecosystems.
2:30PM Hazards to Birds from Open Metal Pipes
Charles Hathcock; Jeanne M. Fair
There are published reports of open polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes causing bird deaths in the western United States. There are numerous other anecdotal reports of other types of pipes trapping birds as well. Here, we document cases of open bollards and open pipes on gates causing bird deaths in northern New Mexico. At Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), a 10,240-ha site, over 100 uncapped 10.16 cm diameter protective bollard posts were examined, and 27% of the open bollards contained dead birds. A total of 88 open pipes used as gate posts, with diameters of 8.89 cm or 10.16 cm, were examined, and 11% contained dead birds. We conducted a preliminary assessment of open pipes on gates along a highway on federal land north of LANL, and 14% of the open pipes contained dead birds. This gate configuration, with open pipes anchoring the gate on either side, is very common in the western United States. In all cases, Western Bluebirds (Sialia mexicana) composed the majority of the identifiable birds we discovered. Based on these findings, the number of bird deaths from this source is potentially very large and should be a concern in bird conservation and management. Birds are faced with a myriad of anthropogenic threats, it’s rare to see a threat that is easy and inexpensive to fix. Just cap it.
2:50PM Refreshment Break
3:20PM The Attitudes They Are A-Changin’: Using Discrete Choice Experiments to Understand Deer Hunter Preferences
Leslie E. McInenly; David C. Fulton; Louis Cornicelli
In an era of shifting demographics, tools to elicit stakeholder attitudes and management preferences, are needed. White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) management, which relies on recreational hunting, requires identification of socially-desired, as well as biologically effective, regulations. Many of the decisions hunters make, from hunting plans to support for regulations, are complex and influenced by a suite of considerations. Additionally, hunter heterogeneity often means that no single alternative is preferred by a majority of users, leaving managers with little ability to discriminate among regulatory options. Through this study, we aim to demonstrate how discrete choice experiments (DCEs) can provide information to wildlife managers facing common, decision-making problems. Specifically, we evaluated (1) the influence of season timing, deer populations, party-hunting, antler point restrictions, and bag limits on hunter preferences for regulatory packages and (2) methods to explore the influence of heterogeneous interests on hunter choices. Between 2014 and 2017, mixed-mode surveys were sent to 25,319 Minnesota deer hunters. Each survey included one of ten DCE versions consisting of eight choice sets. The DCE presented scenarios with various combinations of deer seasons and regulations. Discrete choice models were developed using latent class (LC) and hierarchical Bayes (HB) methods. Results from the general choice model suggest that timing of the season opener had the most influence on scenario choice, followed closely by deer numbers; bag limit was the least important attribute. Hunter segmentation, via LC or HB models, suggests important differences among user groups and regions of the state. Study results suggest management options that maintain hunting traditions (e.g., season opener) and enhance overall experience (e.g., deer viewing opportunities rather than number of deer taken) are likely to garner the greatest support; however, differences in hunter segments suggest the need to tailor packages or outreach to various user groups.
3:40PM Using Hunter and Birdwatcher Trips to Inform Habitat Delivery
Anthony Roberts; Patrick Devers; Scott Knoche; Paul Padding; Robert Raftovich
In 2012, the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) explicitly included a human dimension objective to grow the number of active supporters of waterfowl and wetland conservation. The inclusion of this objective has challenged the habitat management community to consider how habitat delivery influences the recruitment and retention of active supporters. Habitat managers in the NAWMP community have commonly hypothesized participation in waterfowl hunting and bird watching are limited by access to lands that support wetland dependent bird species. More specifically, access is hypothesized to be a function of travel distance, presence and quality of public lands, presence of supporting infrastructure (i.e., boat ramps and signage), and the presence of birds providing an opportunity for harvest or viewing. Our objective was to use data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Harvest Information Program and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology E-bird Program with random utility models to estimate the hypothesized relationship between landscape characteristics and participation in waterfowl hunting and bird watching in the Atlantic Flyway. Using over 150,000 trips for both hunters and bird watchers we found active supporters take on average 6 trips a year, with >50% of the trips in their county of residence and >90% in their state of residence. We used data from New York to demonstrate construction of discrete choice recreation demand models that identified amount of wetlands and public lands available to users had the largest positive impact on the number of trips and the distance traveled for recreation. We demonstrate how model outputs of expected change in number and geographic distribution of trips can be used as an objective metric to evaluate the benefits of alternative habitat acquisition and restoration projects. These results can assist habitat managers in identifying and managing areas that provide maximum benefit to recreationists.
4:00PM Designing Multimodal Texts to Engage Non-Specialists in the Protection of Predators
Fabiola C. Rodríguez Estrada; Antonio A. Rodríguez Rosales
How can we improve the development and implementation of digital multimodal texts to engage the non-specialists in the protection of animal species? By using the model of analysis and design of visual pro-environmental communications (Rodriguez-Estrada, 2015), we are designing and testing a digital multimodal text, which will serve as a tool to engage non-specialists in the conservation of wolves. Similar to science, the discipline of design makes use of various methods to approach problems. However, unlike science, design and science communication, have to confront complex problems, were a variable is always present in each problem: the human factor. Since this is not a factor that can be controlled or excluded, design makes use of different methods to confront the problems. For this reason, in our research we make use of design methods to improve the production of science communications, particularly pro-environmental communication. By using a user-centered design approach we expect to enhance the engagement of the non-specialist with the protection of animal species. The originality of our research lies in the integration of design theories and practices to generate empathetic communications that can help the specialists in the protection of this species. The stages of the research include: problem statement, get to know, reframe, and ideate, prototype and test.
4:20PM Piping Plovers Taste Like Chicken: Conservation Planning to Reduce Human-Wildlife Conflict
Shawna Barry; Paola Bernazzani; David Zippin
A growing population of the federally listed piping plover (Charadrius melodus) in Massachusetts has led to increased conflicts between these beach-nesting shorebirds and recreational beach users. Both federal and state guidelines restrict recreational beach usage to prevent human disturbance of nesting birds and trampling of nests. We used regional conservation planning as a tool to reduce this conflict through development of a conservation plan that is responsive to changes in the state plover population. This plan provides greater flexibility to beach managers and enhanced recreation opportunities as the state population increases, and conversely limits these flexibilities if the plover population decreases for any reason. This is accomplished through a mechanism that ties the level of exposure to potential “take” of plovers in a given year to trends in the Massachusetts breeding population of piping plovers over time. As the statewide population increases, more exposure to take will be authorized and a greater number of broods of chicks, nests, and breeding territories may be exposed to potential take. Conversely, if the plover population declines, less exposure to take will be authorized, and if the statewide population drops below 500 pairs, no take exposure will be authorized. In all cases, only a small proportion of Massachusetts breeding pairs will be exposed. The result is wildlife conservation that is highly protective, and that also incentivizes participants to work collectively and proactively to maintain or increase populations of piping plovers in Massachusetts.
4:40PM Approaches to Preventing Illegal Releases of Boars in the Wild
Stefano Giacomelli; Michael Gibbert; Roberto Viganò
Scholars and practitioners recognize the need for strategies to protect the environment from illegal human activities, making law enforcement a key element of modern wildlife management efforts. Our focus is on wild boar (Sus scrofa) as an overabundant species, and we look to the interest of hunters in supplementing recreational hunting stocks by buying boars bred on farms and then (illegally) releasing them into the forest. To describe the framework in which illegal releases took place, and then to propose management solutions to prevent these acts, we studied the VCO province in northern Italy. Specifically, we designed a nested case study, in which three districts’ regulations are embedded in one province’s superordinate regulations. Through interviews and direct observations, we collected qualitative data to explain stakeholder behaviours and reactions to different local hunting policies and to shed light on the problem. Data were analysed in replication mode. We found that a regulation that forbids hunting can eliminate, at the root, the interest of hunters in artificially increasing local wild boar population growth. Counterintuitively, we found that such an approach does not coincide with higher economic damage to agriculture compared to similar areas but where hunting is allowed. For areas where a pro-hunting regulation is already in place and rooted in the local culture, we described a system that extends responsibility for watching over the ecosystem to local people, who, supported by a sense of civic duty, are willing to collaborate with wardens for free. Starting from the premises that uncontrolled releases of wildlife may pose threats to the ecosystem, and that these acts are generally illegal and foster conflicts among different stakeholders of local communities, we describe two regulatory and management approaches that appeared effective in preventing hunters from buying bred boar for the purpose of releasing them into forests.


Contributed Paper
Location: Albuquerque Convention Center Date: September 25, 2017 Time: 1:10 pm - 5:00 pm