Human Dimensions of Wildlife Unit

Human Dimensions Web Banner of a coy raccoon on a roof, a handsome coyote and a jaunty black bear crossing the road

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:

Human Dimensions Research at CDFW

According to the link opens in new tab or windowCalifornia Biodiversity Initiative (PDF), California is home to 6,700 plant and animal species, making it the most biodiverse state in the country. With nearly 40 million people, it is also the most populated. The HD Unit provides an open forum for clear, engaging, and transparent discussions between the public and Department.

  • Balancing human needs and wildlife needs presents many challenges.
  • In California, the human and environmental landscapes are almost constantly changing due to such factors as continual population growth, translocations, wildfires, drought, and climate change.
  • Understanding how Californians think and make decisions about their natural resources will help CDFW respond to challenges.

Ongoing Projects