With 39.5 million people living in California, perhaps the most important species that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife manages is our own.
What are Human Dimensions?
Wildlife issues are complex. While human behavior may be the root of many wildlife problems, people are also key to meaningful conservation and management actions. Such conservation efforts require a comprehensive understanding not only of ecology and wildlife biology, but also of policy, socioeconomic factors, cultural and social values, and other dimensions of human behavior.
The CDFW Human Dimensions of Wildlife Conservation (HD) Unit is a collaborative program conducting interdisciplinary research to better manage California’s natural resources. HD research investigates the role that people play in wildlife management and conservation, actions and decision-making, using comprehensive social and environmental sciences. HD research complements the work of other scientific fields by:
Exploring and presenting public opinions about wildlife. Specifically, what conservation and management issues are most concerning to Californians?
Building collaborations and communication efforts around wildlife, and conservation issues amongst different communities, organizations, and stakeholder groups.
Providing the social science expertise to wildlife conservation agencies so that they may make scientifically sound, sustainable decisions about conservation management and policy.