Binational collaboration in recovery of endangered species: the Mexican wolf as a case study
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The goal of this inductive study was to identify factors that facilitate and inhibit binational collaboration in the recovery of endangered species in the northern Mexico borderlands, focusing on the Mexican wolf (Canis lupus baileyi). A conceptual model was developed using qualitative techniques, providing the basis for design of a mail survey. The target population included participants with experience in recovery efforts for over a dozen species at risk in the region. Long interviews were recorded with 44 participants from Mexico and the United States. Thematic hierarchical analysis was used to develop a conceptual model of how interviewees talked about factors influencing binational collaboration. Issues were classified in five thematic clusters: project, organization, people, resources, culture/history. The survey was used to conduct a needs assessment, measuring respondents' attitudes about the relative priority of issues identified in the conceptual model. High priority needs were identified from each thematic cluster: (a) equitable participation in project design and implementation, (b) continuity of personnel, (c) coordination of federal, state and local efforts, (d) increased funding, managed with accountability, and (e) exchange visits to facilitate understanding of diverse perspectives. Responses to almost half the survey items indicated accord among the sample of respondents, providing a basis for shared common ground. The nature of discord was within the range of "manageable", with no clear polarization of attitudes measured. This exploratory data analysis suggested that the structure of the conceptual model developed from the Mexican wolf case study was generally a valid basis for future deductive analysis and reflection by practitioners. For 82% of 22 statements of need, priorities of participants in the Mexican wolf recovery efforts did not differ significantly from other respondents. Nationality (of respondents) significantly affected priority rankings for only 18% of the need statements. Significant effects of five demographic variables indicated that interactive effects should be examined in future multivariate analyses to determine how respondents' attitudes on issues related to priority rankings. Recommendations were provided for a more efficient and effective approach to collaborative problem-solving, engaging reflective practitioners from the private and public sectors in principled negotiation processes to better understand diverse perspectives.
Bernal Stoopen, Jose Francisco (2003). Binational collaboration in recovery of endangered species: the Mexican wolf as a case study. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from