Collaborative Deer Management

Project Status: Completed
Type of Project: Research Project

Principal Investigator: Dr Justin Irvine, Macaulay Institute (Email)
Policy and Practice Note

Publications, Data and Other Outputs


Many people that make their living from the countryside argue about how to make best use of ecological resources. The management of deer provides an ideal case study because there are many associated costs and benefits. Deer management provides jobs for stalkers on forestry and sporting estates and people in the meat industry. Tourists are drawn to particular landscapes which deer help to create and to see the deer themselves. However, in some areas, high deer numbers are causing overgrazing and damage to sensitive natural habitats, agricultural and forestry crops and even suburban gardens. Deer are increasingly involved in road traffic accidents. Therefore there are many different attitudes to deer and conflicts on how best to manage them.

This project will investigate how well people involved in deer management work together and how this can be improved so that the costs of managing deer are minimised and the benefits maximised. To achieve this we need to increase understanding between ecologists, economist and social scientists and combine this knowledge with management objectives. The lessons we learn from investigating deer management will be used to see how well they apply to the management of other natural resources where multiple management objectives exist.