Learning and adaptation in waterfowl conservation: By chance or by design?

Wildlife Society Bulletin
By: , and 



The most recent revision of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan seeks to increase the adaptive capacity of the management enterprise to cope with accelerating changes in climate, land-use patterns, agency priorities, and the waterfowl and wetlands constituency. Institutional and cultural changes of the magnitude envisioned are necessarily slow, messy processes, involving many actors who at a minimum must agree on the need for change. Waterfowl conservation now finds itself in the transition zone between business as usual and some new mode of operation. There are at least 2 different perspectives of this transition: one focuses on process, accountability, and planning for change; another focuses on solutions generated from an organic process of creativity, information sharing, and risk-taking. Both of these views have something to contribute, but some in the wildlife management enterprise may tend to focus more on the first view. We suggest that ideas from panarchy theory, especially those related to the behaviors of complex adaptive systems, can help waterfowl managers better understand and foster the institutional changes they seek.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Learning and adaptation in waterfowl conservation: By chance or by design?
Series title Wildlife Society Bulletin
DOI 10.1002/wsb.682
Volume 40
Issue 3
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Contributing office(s) Wetland and Aquatic Research Center
Description 5 p.
First page 423
Last page 427
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