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SEAFWA 2018 has ended
The following schedule is from the 72nd Annual Conference of the Southeastern Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies which was held October 21-24, 2018 in Mobile, Alabama. 
Monday, October 22 • 2:00pm - 2:20pm
Wildlife 1 Track: Strategic Use of Deer Management Cooperatives in Conservation Planning

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AUTHORS: Hunter P. Pruitt, Mark D. McConnell, Gino J. D'Angelo, Bynum B. Boley – University of Georgia; Brian P. Murphy, Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA)

ABSTRACT: Deer management cooperatives (DMCs) are a novel approach by private landowners and hunters to voluntarily and collaboratively work ‘to improve the quality of wildlife, habitat, and hunting experiences on their collective acreages’. By aggregating multiple properties under cooperative management, hunters and landowners may facilitate highly connected managed areas within the landscape matrix. The potential increase in cooperative habitat management conducted within DMCs may increase conservation value within the surrounding landscape. Thus, DMCs may provide a method to counter decreasing connectivity between habitat patches, while simultaneously increasing active habitat management to the benefit of species other than white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). To test the effect of DMCs on landscape connectivity, we compared landscape composition and configuration between 32 DMCs, covering over 190,000 acres across four U.S. states (Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, and New York), and adjacent landscapes using FRAGSTATS® software. We found greater amounts of various ‘wildlife centric’ land cover within DMCs in all four states, and lesser amounts of ‘agriculture centric’ land cover within DMCs in three of four states. We also surveyed DMC members in the previously mentioned states, with the addition of Texas, totaling over 480 responses to better understand factors leading to successful DMC implementation. We found differing motives for DMC formation, conducted importance-performance analysis (IPA) to evaluate aspects of current DMC success or failure, and describe member willingness to engage in habitat management. We conclude that landscape-level differences, triggered by DMC landowner motivations, may provide conservation benefits to other game and non-game cohabitating species not previously described.

Monday October 22, 2018 2:00pm - 2:20pm
Bon Secour Bay II

Attendees (5)