Dr. Jay Boulanger serves as Extension Associate in the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell University. He has coordinated the Deer Research and Management Program during the past several years. The focus of his applied research and extension programs is to reduce human-wildlife conflicts in suburban and agricultural landscapes. Jay also holds an appointment with Cornell’s Human Dimensions Research Unit, where he studies hunter subgroups to assess satisfactions, motivations and attitudes towards regulations.
My research primarily focuses on wildlife management, population ecology, the impacts and mitigation of vertebrate overabundance, human-wildlife conflicts within suburban and rural landscapes, and human dimensions of wildlife management. My research includes both applied and theoretical questions in vertebrate ecology; selected concepts include spatial use of landscape features, movement patterns, population dynamics, and resource selection. In addition, I am interested in the collateral impacts of management actions at the species and landscape levels.
Increasing interactions between deer and various properties on and around Cornell University lands have resulted in the need to evaluate and implement a deer research and management program to reduce negative impacts. Discussions and actions regarding deer damage management reflect the University's goal to maintain the integrity of Cornell lands, while being cognizant of related neighborhood impacts. The project will be implemented in an effective and cost-efficient manner, for the primary purposes of supporting the research, teaching, and outreach functions of Cornell University. For this project, Cornell lands have been divided into two zones: a core campus area and outlying areas adjacent to the core campus (see map). The primary objective for the core campus zone (1,781 acres) is to reduce deer damage to unique plant collections or research plots, and minimize safety risks associated with deer. We plan to monitor complaints about deer damage to plants, reported deer-vehicle accidents, and deer abundance. The goal is to reduce deer associated complaints using fertility control research, fencing, and repellents. The outlying areas comprise a zone (1,438 acres) that contains agricultural fields, woodlots, and natural areas. Limited hunting has been allowed on most of these properties for decades. The primary objective for these areas is to reduce deer damage to agricultural fields and natural areas through the use of controlled hunting on areas with safe shooting zones that meet state discharge regulations. The focus will be to increase the harvest of female deer and lower the reproductive potential and herd size near campus in areas that can be safely hunted. Close to campus, archery hunting will be the primary approach. Where practical, shotgun hunting will be permitted based on input from the Cornell University Police and land managers. Temporary electric and other fencing designs will also be used to protect research plots during the growing season.