Theses and Dissertations



McConnell, Mark D.

Committee Member

Demarais, Stephen

Committee Member

Strickland, Bronson K.

Committee Member

Miller, Craig A.

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Visible MSU only 2 years

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Campus Access Only


Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Forest Resources


Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture


Private lands play a crucial role in protecting at-risk species in the Southeast, and finding ways to increase landowner participation in conservation efforts is essential. I surveyed non-industrial private forest owners in Mississippi to assess how their motivations for land management relates to their willingness to manage for at-risk species. I also assessed if landowners who hunt are more willing to manage for at-risk species. Results showed that landowners are motivated by a sense of stewardship for the land, but there is a lack of awareness about at-risk species. Although the effect size was minimal, there is a significant relationship between landowners who hunt and a willingness to manage for at-risk species. I also surveyed Mississippi landowners about chronic wasting disease (CWD) in white-tailed deer. Overall, there was moderate concern about CWD, but it had a minimal effect on landowners’ motivation for managing their land.