Editor Emily Minor
Mapping stewardship networks in urban ecosystems
Article first published online: 20 SEP 2011
©2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Volume 4, Issue 6, pages 464–473, December 2011
How to Cite
Belaire, J. A., Dribin, A. K., Johnston, D. P., Lynch, D. J. and Minor, E. S. (2011), Mapping stewardship networks in urban ecosystems. Conservation Letters, 4: 464–473. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-263X.2011.00200.x
- Issue published online: 2 DEC 2011
- Article first published online: 20 SEP 2011
- Accepted manuscript online: 23 AUG 2011 11:26AM EST
- Received , 19 April 2011, Accepted, 2 August 2011
- collaborative natural resource management;
- social network analysis;
- urban ecology;
- stakeholder participation
Collaboration is often promoted as an effective strategy for conservation and natural resource management. Collaboration and communication can be particularly important—but challenging—in cities where there are many diverse stakeholders. However, there is little information about the factors that increase social interactions in urban stewardship networks. We used social network analysis to examine the extent of collaboration and patterns in the flow of information, ideas, and funding among stakeholders in an industrial urban ecosystem. Organizations associated with a regional conservation alliance (Chicago Wilderness) had more connections than other organizations. Geographic proximity, of both office locations and shared field sites, also increased interactions. All interaction types were correlated with each other, suggesting that one form of interaction may lead to additional connections. Despite spanning a large geographic area and incorporating many diverse organizations, the network we evaluated appeared to be remarkably well connected and shows great promise for successful conservation outcomes. Our approach can be used to identify strengths and weaknesses in other collaborative stewardship efforts and uncover key actions that may improve conservation in urban areas.