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Monday, February 6 • 2:20pm - 2:40pm
Symposia Session - S2: Midwestern Agroecology and the Conservation of Grassland Birds. Utilizing Social Science to Guide Bird Conservation Action on Private Lands

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AUTHORS: Ashley Gramza, North American Bird Conservation Initiative Social Science Coordinator, Virginia Tech; Ashley Dayer, Virginia Tech

ABSTRACT: The vast majority of grassland bird habitat in the Midwest region is located on private lands. Therefore, to achieve bird conservation success, we need to work with private landowners. To do so, we must start by better understanding landowners, especially how various social factors relate to landowner decisions regarding conservation practices on their land. Social science offers theories and methods to rigorously explore what influences landowner conservation action. Findings from these inquiries can then be applied to develop strategic and effective private lands conservation programs and strategies. In general, this research suggests that four categories of variables influence landowner conservation action: (1) landowner demographic characteristics, (2) landowner psychological characteristics, (3) land characteristics, and (4) program and practice characteristics. Most current research has focused on adoption of conservation practices (either through financial incentive programs or voluntarily); we know much less about what happens after programs end. In this presentation, we will use case studies to illustrate how social science data can inform bird conservation strategies on private lands. We will also introduce a new project that will examine the psychological basis for landowner decisions to participate in Farm Bill Conservation Program practices that benefit birds and whether the landowners continue to contribute to conservation when they leave the program. Lastly, we will discuss social science resources that bird conservation professionals can access to learn how to integrate social science into their efforts and to connect with social science researchers who can collaborate on bird conservation projects.

Monday February 6, 2017 2:20pm - 2:40pm CST
Arbor I/II