Breath of Clarity

Wildlife Management is Human Management?

Prompt Statement:

“wildlife management IS the study of human dimensions of wildlife, because without people intruding on wildlife habitat, there would be no reason to manage wildlife populations.”

Overall, I refute the statement because I only agree with parts of it.

First of all, the statement implies humans are separate from wildlife. In actuality, humans are a sector of the wildlife population. At the same time, wildlife management is the study of human dimensions of wildlife because we can only investigate our relationship with the natural world. There is no way of ridding the position of the observer relative to its subject while gathering data about T&E species.

The problem is that humans do not conduct actions with the acknowledgement that their health is directly related to ecosystem health. As a result, they damage wildlife habitat. Insofar as humans respected wildlife habitat, there would be no need for wildlife management. That said, wildlife management should focus on understanding the values that propel humans to act the way they do. Wildlife management is the study of human dimensions of wildlife because it investigates the barriers interfering with humans seeing that they are destroying their own species.

Comment by Maggie Smith:

What a great statement. I really like how you point out that the prompt separates us from wildlife. If humans as a whole could see that they are part of the natural world and that we are all here together, I could definitely see perspective shifting. I greatly appreciate your perspective and really wished it was a more wide spread thought. Thank you for sharing.

My Comment:

Thanks for the comment! I agree that humans seeing they are a member of the natural world and not separate from it not only leads to crucial, wide-scale perspective shifting, but also can result in changing behavior. I found a paper explaining the perceived separation between humans and nature may have implications for subsequent environmental values, attitudes, and behavior (Vining et al. 2008). The research examines people’s perceptions of their connection to nature as well as their ideas about what constitutes natural and unnatural environments (Vining et al. 2008). The authors asked participants from three separate studies if they thought of themselves as part of or separate from nature. They also asked participants to list words that came to mind when thinking of natural and unnatural environments. The results show that even though the 76.9% majority of the participants considered themselves part of nature, natural environments were largely described as places absent from any human interference (Vining et al. 2008). Gaining an understanding of this apparent contradiction may lead to a better awareness of the importance of people’s perceptions of themselves in nature and how that perception relates to general human-environment interactions as well as management and policy (Vining et al. 2008).


Vining, Joanne, Melinda Merrick, and Emily Price. 2008. “The Distinction between Humans and Nature: Human Perceptions of Connectedness to Nature and Elements of the Natural and Unnatural.” Human Ecology Review. 15(1), 1-11.

Comment by Fenton Kay:

Mary, that is an interesting refutation of the question. In large part, I agree. My concern is how do we go about getting people to recognize their place in the world ecosystem, and then what can we do to ameliorate our negative impacts?

Comment by Gary Mitchler:

You made a great point in your post, we too often see ourselves separate from the environment when in fact we are an equal player as any other species. As much as humans try we will always be tied to our environment and as you state our health can be directly related to the health of the world that surrounds us. Although the statement does hold some truth to me I dont believe that it is fully shows our relationship with our world.