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Factors shaping private landowner engagement in wildlife management

Authors

  • Katherine E. Golden,

    Corresponding author
    1. Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology Program, Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, North Carolina State University, Campus Box 7646, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
    • Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology Program, Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, North Carolina State University, Campus Box 7646, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
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  • M. Nils Peterson,

    1. Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology Program, Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, North Carolina State University, Campus Box 7646, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
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  • Christopher S. DePerno,

    1. Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology Program, Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, North Carolina State University, Campus Box 7646, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
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  • Robert E. Bardon,

    1. Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
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  • Christopher E. Moorman

    1. Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology Program, Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, North Carolina State University, Campus Box 7646, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
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  • Associate Editor: Boal

Abstract

The changing demographics of rural landowners have the potential to affect wildlife management on private land and therefore, there is a need to determine what factors influence landowner participation in wildlife management. We surveyed 1,368 North Carolina, USA, private landowners to determine socio-demographic factors predicting participation in a variety of wildlife management practices. Wildlife management practices most commonly implemented by landowners were providing supplemental feed (21.8%), mowing to improve habitat (16.2%), erecting nesting boxes (14.7%), and planting food plots (14.6%). Ecologically valuable management activities such as prescribed burning (2.3%) were among the least practiced. Hunting or having a family member that hunted was the most consistent predictor of participation in wildlife management practices. Landowners who hunted, resided on their property, were younger and were male were more likely to implement wildlife management practices than their counterparts. Resident landowners, especially those who hunt, may be the most receptive to outreach efforts promoting wildlife habitat management on private lands. Our results indicate outreach efforts should target habitat management practices with longer term wildlife benefits (e.g., prescribed fire, controlling invasive plants), because practices with immediate short-term benefits (e.g., food plots, supplemental feeding, mowing) are currently 3–4 times more prevalent. © 2012 The Wildlife Society.

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