James A. Parkhurst

James A. Parkhurst
Associate Professor of Wildlife
Wildlife Extension Specialist

B.S., Univ. of Massachusetts (1974)
M.S., Univ. of Rhode Island (1977)
Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State Univ. (1989)

Academic Interests:

Wildlife damage management; wetlands and wetland wildlife ecology; habitat management and manipulation

Courses Taught:

Vertebrate Pest Management (FIW 4454) ; Ecology and Management of Wetland Systems (FIW 4534) ; Program Coordinator for Virginia Coverts Project

Professional Achievements:

Certified Wildlife Biologist; The Wildlife Society; Center for Human-Wildlife Conflict Resolution (currently in development, in cooperation with the Conservation Management Institute)

Recent Activites:

My academic program is geared toward the study of a teaching about the relationships and interactions between wildlife and human populations. Specifically, I use knowledge and experience gained from such study to develop practical applications to maintain or enhance wildlife populations while, at the same time, trying to ensure that wildlife and humans can coexist in relative harmony. Obviously, this goal presents interesting challenges: how does one maintain, increase or diversify wildlife populations when confronted with an evergrowing array of complaints on human-wildlife conflicts? Certainly, these are challenges that must be met and issues our students must be prepared to deal with. The essence of my program can best be summarized by examining it as reflected through the tripartite mission of the University: outreach, teaching, and research.

Assessment of Impacts of Hunting at the New River Gorge National River (2004 - 2006)
This study seeks to identify and describe potential impacts that can be attributed to the U.S. National Park Service's operational policy of allowing legal hunting on park lands. At the time this park was created in 1978, language in the authorizing documentation creating the park mandated that legal hunting would be allowed to continue throughout much of the park, but did allow for some discretion in other sectors. Information derived from this effort will be used to help prepare and re-write the park's 10-year operational management plan.

The Feasibility of Elk Restoration in Virginia: A Biological and Sociological Assessment (1997 - 1999)
"This study examined the habitat requirements of elk (Cervus elaphus) and identified suitable habitat in Virginia to support a re-introduction of this species within the Commonwealth. The potential effects of elk on indigenous flora and fauna were evaluated. Additionally, the sociological implications (public attitudes and perceptions) and likelihood of damage caused by elk were determined and assessed."

Applicability of Stakeholder Theory for Designing Conservation Strategies for Watershed Management in North Mexico (1997 - 2004) (with Dr. Steve McMullin)
"In cooperation with colleagues at the University of Chihuahua, the impacts of 14 agrarian-based communities that border the Laguna de Babicora, a 200,000-ha watershed and wetland complex in west-central Chihuahua, Mexico, were examined. This laguna provides primary wintering grounds for sandhill cranes, white-fronted geese, and Mexican ducks in addition to many of the needs of these communities. A conservation and management planning protocol that promotes stakeholder involvement and accounts for improvements in agricultural practices, water use, and environmental education was developed.

Damage in Virginia: Implications for Management (1996 - 1998)
This study determined the distribution, severity, economic effects, and stakeholder perceptions of damage caused by deer in Virginia. In addition, the relationship between damage caused by deer and the existence and spatial distribution of refugia (i.e., habitats not subject to hunting) is being examined. The implications on existing deer management programs of a continuing trend of increased posting of private lands and further restriction of hunter access to burgeoning deer populations are being evaluated.

The Virginia Coverts Program, a natural resource educational program in partnership with the Ruffed Grouse Society
This program uses a "peer-to-peer" educational model as a means to disseminate to private landowners information on ecological and land management practices and the consequences of improper applications. Since 1991, the Virginia Coverts Program has trained approximately 150 Coverts Cooperators statewide who own or have management responsibility for more than 1 million acres of private land and who, in turn, have provided volunteer instruction to more than 5,000 contacts.

Selected Recent Publications:

Helfrich, L. A., R. J. Neves, and J. A. Parkhurst. 2003. Sustaining America’s Aquatic Bio-diversity: A Teacher’s Guide. Virginia Cooperative Extension Publ. 420-532. 70pp.

West, B. C., and J. A. Parkhurst. 2002. Interactions between deer damage, deer density, and stakeholder attitudes in Virginia. Wildlife Society Bulletin 30(1):139-147

McClafferty, J. A., and J. A. Parkhurst. 2001. Using public surveys and GIS to determine the feasibility of restoring elk to Virginia. Pg. 83 - 98 (Chapter 4) in D. S. Maeher, R. F. Noss, and J. L. Larkin, eds. Large mammal restoration: ecological and sociological challenges in the 21st century. Island Press, Washington, DC.

Jonker, S. A., J. A. Parkhurst, R. Field, and T. K. Fuller. 1998. Black bear depredation on agricultural commodities in Massachusetts. Wildlife Society Bulletin 26:318-324

Parkhurst, J.A., editor. 1999. Proceedings of the 8th Eastern Wildlife Damage Management Conference, October 16-19, 1997, Roanoke, VA. Virginia Cooperative Extension Publication 420-xxx (in press).

Kays, J.S., G.R. Goff, P.J. Smallidge, W.N. Grafton, and J.A. Parkhurst, editors. 1998. Proceedings of the Natural Resources Income Opportunities on Private Lands Converence, April 5-7, 1998, Hagerstown, MD. University of Maryland Cooperative Extension Service, College Park, MD 275pp.

Parkhurst, J.A., D. Jenkins, S. Capel, and J. Johnson. 1998. Introduction to Wildlife Management-Short Course Instructor's Guide: The Virginia Forest Landowner Education Short Course Series. Virginia Forest Association, Virginia Cooperative Extension Service, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, and Virginia Department of Forestry cooperating. 200 pp. + appd.

Parkhurst, J.A. 1998. Managing Wildlife Damage - Black Bear. Virginia Cooperative Extension Publication 420-200. 4pp.

Parkhurst, J.A. 1998. Managing Wildlife Damage-Moles. Virginia Cooperative Extension Publication 420-201. 5pp.


Updated January 2007