Where Hunting Happens, Conservation Happens™

B&C Fellow - Nick Jaffe

Michigan State University – Ph.D. Student in Fisheries and Wildlife – Projected to Graduate in 2022
Project Title: Potential Wolf Expansion into the Northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan - Impacts on Cervid Ecology and Local Economies

I am originally a South Floridian and come from a family of nature enthusiasts and travelers. I’ve always been drawn to the wilderness. I entered college knowing I wanted to study wildlife and I have been doing that ever since, working in many different landscapes with various taxa. During my undergraduate program at UNC Asheville, I studied salamanders and freshwater fish communities in the Appalachians. For my master’s work at Oklahoma State University, I examined how grassland birds respond to extreme weather. In the years between, I also worked with coastal marine systems in Florida and on cheetah conservation in Namibia. I joined the Boone and Crockett Wildlife Center at Michigan State University as a doctoral student in the fall of 2017. My goal has always been to be professional researcher, with a focus on issues related to landscape ecology and conservation. I am especially interested in studying human-wildlife interactions, landscape scale conservation, and understanding complex systems through cross-disciplinary collaboration.

Potential Wolf Expansion into the Northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan - Impacts on Cervid Ecology and Local Economies

The recovery of gray wolves in the Great Lakes region has led to an established population in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Documented sightings of wolves in the Northern Lower Peninsula (NLP) of Michigan have highlighted the possibility of continued expansion across the state. The NLP features a sizable population of white-tailed deer as well as a population of elk, which are a valuable resource for consumptive and non-consumptive users. Thus, the appearance of wolves may not only impact cervid populations but also affect local economies. We will investigate this dynamic in an effort to forecast potential impacts of wolf expansion into the NLP. Specific objectives of this research include (1) simulating regional wolf population expansion, (2) projecting cervid population and behavioral responses, and (3) assessing the impacts of these changes in terms of economic value. This project integrates ecological and economic models to better inform wildlife policy.


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-Theodore Roosevelt