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Attitudes Toward and Perceptions of Deer Management in Suburban Boston

By Michael Devito

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Communities in the United States have experienced a large and growing white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) population. Residents in these communities may enjoy encounters with white-tailed deer, but they also perceive problems with deer such as car collisions, garden damage, and Lyme disease. In the suburbs of Boston, deer are increasingly abundant and many towns have elected to adopt organized hunting programs. Two of these towns are Weston and Sudbury, which have included in the survey. For town-level management of white-tailed deer to succeed, managers must first understand residents’ awareness of management strategies and attitudes towards wildlife, recreation, and hunting in their town. This project was developed to assist town governments and area natural resource management non-profits in determining how to manage white-tail deer in the leafy first tier suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts. The technical aspects of deer control must be balanced with socially-acceptable solutions that minimize conflict between different stakeholders in the region and can gain a broad consensus. The West Suburban Conservation Committee (WSCC) Deer Survey will be used to survey residents of five towns (Weston, Wayland, Sudbury, Lincoln, and Concord). Here, residents are confronted with the benefits and the problems associated with a high white-tailed deer population. The survey will focus on attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors of individuals related to recreational forest use and deer management. Overall, the "town" variable was not a statistically significant factor in determining what attitudes were developed by residents towards suburban deer management.


Katie Carroll

Date 2016
Pages 108
Publisher Brandeis University
Department Environmental Studies
Degree Bachelor of Arts
Language English
University Brandeis University
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal roles
  2. Animals in culture
  3. Cities and towns
  4. Deer
  5. Environment
  6. Habitats
  7. human-wildlife interactions
  8. Mammals
  9. Massachusetts
  10. Physical environment
  11. suburban areas
  12. Wild animals
  13. wildlife
  14. wildlife management