Deer frolicking through suburban street -

ACCESS Seminar: The Multispecies Politics of Urban and Suburban Wildlife

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Beavers, gulls, coyotes and many other generalist species have adapted to and flourished in urban and suburban environments. Growing populations of these generalist species are increasingly viewed as pests and their “overabundance” poses novel challenges for wildlife management. In this talk, I examine the shifting management and populations of one such overabundant species – white-tailed deer– in suburban and urban areas of Massachusetts (MA), USA. Drawing on a web-based survey of municipalities across MA and in-depth case studies of suburban deer management controversies, I show that deer management programs are implemented unevenly across MA and unravel the multispecies micro-politics that shapes these debates and the resulting management decisions. I conclude by emphasizing the need to better understand how socio-political processes drive the management of deer and other wildlife in suburban and urban areas. 

Bio: Anne Short Gianotti is Associate Professor of Earth and Environment at Boston University where her research and teaching focus on the social and political dimensions of conservation, wildlife management, and urban climate action. Her work investigates how various socio-political and ecological processes shape human interactions with nature and catalyze changes in land use, management, and policy. Dr. Short Gianotti’s research experience spans issues as diverse as wildlife management, climate justice, disaster risk reduction, and cannabis cultivation and she frequently collaborates across disciplinary boundaries. In all of her work, Dr. Short Gianotti works directly with residents, natural resource agencies, local governments, and other decision-makers to connect her research with practice.

Featured image credit: Andrea Viveiros