Spatially Integrating Stakeholder Preferences for Wildlife Conservation and Ecosystem Services with Expert Opinions Using Public Participation Geographic Information Systems
Type of Degreethesis
DepartmentForestry and Wildlife Sciences
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Due to changing trends in natural resource management, there is an increasing need to incorporate stakeholder opinions and preferences into the decision making process. Since much natural resource data is stored spatially in GIS databases, it is beneficial to capture this stakeholder information in the same format for overlay and analysis with scientific data, allowing the best informed decisions to be made. For this purpose, Public Participation Geographic Information Systems (PPGIS) was developed to spatially capture publicly identified places of importance and import them into a GIS database. However, there are still significant gaps in the PPGIS literature that need to be addressed to make this tool more useful for management purposes. This paper addresses some of these holes, demonstrating how PPGIS can be applied to wildlife management and conservation, for which PPGIS has not previously been used, and how the accuracy of PPGIS-identified places of ecosystem service provision can be identified and used to inform management decisions.