Title:  Expansion of human development and potential impacts on deer management
Author(s): Clayton K. Nielsen
Year: 2009
Abstract: Human development and resulting conflicts between humans and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) create several challenges for deer managers. Deer management often is contentious in developed areas, as stakeholders with opposing viewpoints demand input into management decisions. Furthermore, use of hunting as a deer management technique may be constrained in developed areas due to human attitudes against hunting, property access limitations, and safety concerns. Other confounding issues include the difference in human and deer ecology between suburban and exurban areas. Exurbia is a residential land-use that occurs outside city limits, situated among working farms or undeveloped land, where human population density and average property size are intermediate between the suburbs and rural areas. Knowledge of deer management potential in exurbia is important because the human population in these areas of the U.S. increased by 10 million during the 1990s, more than that of urban, suburban, or rural landscapes. Regardless, deer managers need updated information about deer and humans in developed landscapes to improve management programs. In this presentation, I discuss the future of deer management in human-developed areas, given existing trends in human expansion and a review of research on deer ecology and management in suburban and exurban areas. Although deer managers increasingly will need to pursue non-traditional methods of deer management in developed areas due to continuing trends in development, attitudes of suburbanites and exurbanites, and deer ecology, I contend there still is hope for hunting in the hinterlands of our urban centers.

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