Human dimensions of species management


Habitats manager ringing buzzard

Our research focuses on the interaction of people and wildlife in forests. This includes understanding the people’s attitudes towards wildlife and its management, along with the impacts that recreation has on wildlife.

Research objectives

  • To identify stakeholder attitudes towards and perceptions of wildlife and its management, and the links between these and their behaviours.
  • To understand the relationships between governance (e.g. legislation and policy) and future management options and needs, and stakeholder behaviour.
  • To ‘map’ the development of human-wildlife conflicts.
  • To promote best collaborative working practices for wildlife management and conservation (balancing government and others’ roles and responsibilities).
  • To identify, locate and understand human-wildlife interactions in urban and peri-urban settings.

Results so far

Red squirrelEcological research into recreational disturbance of wildlife focuses primarily on a limited number of areas such as walking as an activity and impacts upon birds and soils. Long-term ecological studies of wildlife or habitat disturbance are scarce and considerably less work has been carried out on the social dimensions of recreational disturbance.

The majority of evidence on the relationship between recreation and conservation is focused at the site level, however assessment of these interactions should also take place at landscape scales to facilitate the wider provision of public benefits. 

Collaborative wildlife management agendas across scales and social contexts are primarily set by contextual factors, particularly stakeholders drawing on specific cultures and policies, and predefining issues. The capacity of collaborative processes themselves to share power amongst stakeholders may therefore be limited.


This research programme started in 2009 and is ongoing.

Reports and presentations

Funders and partners

Forestry Commission logo
This project is funded by the Forestry Commission.


Mariella Marzano