Management of wildlife in suburban environments involves a complex set of interactions between both human and wildlife populations. Managers need additional tools, such as models, that can help them assess the status of wildlife populations, devise and apply management programs, and convey this information to other professionals and the public. We present a model that conceptualizes how some wildlife populations can fluctuate between extremely low (rare, threatened, or endangered status) and extremely high (overabundant) numbers over time. Changes in wildlife abundance can induce changes in human perceptions, which continually redefine species as a valuable resource to be protected versus a pest to be controlled. Management programs thatincorporate a number of approaches and promote more stable populations of wildlife avoid the problems of the resource versus pest transformation, are less costly to society, and encourage more positive and less negative interactions between humans and wildlife. We presenta case example of the beaver Castor canadensis in Massachusetts to illustrate how this model functions and can be applied. ?? 2005 Springer Science + Business Media, Inc.