Dr. Heidi Kretser is the Livelihoods and Conservation Coordinator for the Wildlife Conservation Society’s North America Program.
“Taking scientific inquiry from research to action for private lands conservation”
Rural landscapes in close proximity to protected lands are facing increasing development pressure for residential homes. This type of exurban, or low-density, development, occurring away from the urban core and facilitated by various forms of transportation and communication, fragments wildlife habitat and valued open space. Landowners, land-use agencies, real estate agents, developers, consultants and local ngos are among the groups of people who make decisions about how land is used, what configuration development takes, and how that development fits within a broader landscape plan. However, the process of engaging these groups at the right time, with the appropriate approach and a proper message can be a challenging prospect for practitioners who face the daunting task of reducing habitat fragmentation from residential development. Dr. Heidi Kretser of the Wildlife Conservation Society will share nearly two decades of experience working on the impacts of exurban development on wildlife, translating these findings into recommended solutions, and engaging local communities that can implement conservation actions.