Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Animal Ecology

First Advisor

Gary J. Atchison


This research examines the attitudes and behaviors of Iowa farmers toward wildlife. Based on a 1991 statewide mailed survey of 822 farmers, it divides Iowa farmers into "wildlife-oriented" and "non-wildlife-oriented" groups for sampling and analysis. It identifies demographic and personal factors that are correlated with a wildlife orientation. Wildlife-oriented farmers in Iowa tend to be farmers with smaller acreages overall, with smaller gross farm incomes, with fewer acres devoted to row-crops, and with more diverse landscapes that more often include trees, streams, Conservation Reserve Program acres or other non-agricultural land than farmers who are not wildlife-oriented. Wildlife-oriented farmers also engage in more wildlife-related activities, seek wildlife information from locally-available sources, and are significantly more likely to seek assistance of conservation professionals than are their non-wildlife-oriented counterparts. Wildlife-oriented farmers also hold opinions and have attitudes that accord more value to wildlife for aesthetic and recreational purposes. Regression analysis reveals the association of these variables with management practices the farmers use on their land;Since both wildlife-oriented and non-wildlife-oriented farmer groups had substantial portions (65% and 44%, respectively) of hunters, another analysis was conducted, dividing farmers by whether or not they hunted;Farmer-hunters farm smaller acreages, engage more in other wildlife-associated activities, and are more likely to have hunted as children than non-hunting farmers. Their hunting activity is correlated with practices on their farms that are specifically favorable to wildlife. Farmer-hunters accord significantly higher value to wildlife for both aesthetic and recreational purposes. Non-hunting farmers are more likely than farmer-hunters to favor lease-hunting, though farmer-hunters are evenly split on the issue. Regression analyses reveals that hunting, some attitudinal variables, youth activity variables, and contact with conservation professionals are significantly related to farmers' attitudes toward hunting and to the wildlife habitat practices they put on their land;The implications of these findings for wildlife management are discussed.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

James L. Pease



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

111 pages