Fish and wildlife agencies nationwide are under increasing pressure to respond to calls and situations related to problems with wildlife. Yet many agencies receive no funding for these activities–it simply constitutes an added-on, unfunded responsibility. Furthermore, there are varied opinions and divergence in public opinion, and even among agency personnel, regarding common dilemmas related to wildlife problems, funding, and public expectations. What level of involvement should fish and wildlife agencies have in managing nuisance wildlife?
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A scientific survey conducted for the Northeast Wildlife Damage Management Research and Outreach Cooperative (hereinafter referred to as the Cooperative) helps wildlife professionals better understand public attitudes toward and expectations regarding management of problems caused by wildlife in the Northeast United States.
The ultimate goal of this project is to help state fish and wildlife agencies develop sustainable nuisance wildlife management strategies and viable solutions–in short, to help ensure that agencies are allocating their limited resources and funding based on the priorities and programs that best meet the needs of their constituents.
The Cooperative was established in 1999 as a partnership between state and federal wildlife agencies and universities in the Northeast, including Cornell University and Penn State. The Cooperative consists of, and the survey was conducted in, 13 Northeastern states.
For this study, Responsive Management obtained a total of 3,962 completed interviews overall. The states surveyed, with the number of completed interviews, are Connecticut (307), Delaware (302), Maine (300), Maryland (300), Massachusetts (303), New Hampshire (308), New Jersey (302), New York (311), Pennsylvania (302), Rhode Island (305), Vermont (320), Virginia (301), and West Virginia (301).
The study entailed a scientific telephone survey of residents of those 13 Northeastern states (random digit dialing sampling with supplemental cellular telephone numbers in representative proportions). The study culminated in a full report with state-level data.
Two versions of the final results are available: