Jump to Main Content
Motivations, commitment, and turnover of bluebird trail managers
- Hvenegaard, Glen T., Perkins, Robyn
- Human dimensions of wildlife 2019 v.24 no.3 pp. 250-266
- demographic statistics, managers, motivation, natural resources conservation, nest boxes, surveys, volunteers, wildlife, wildlife management
- Volunteers support wildlife conservation, but engagement is often limited and short-term. This article examined the demographics, commitment, retention, and turnover among volunteer managers of bluebird nest boxes. Based on a survey, respondents were older, more educated, and more rural than the general population. Volunteers committed large amounts of time and money. Motivations to manage a bluebird trail were conserving bluebirds, experiencing nature, and seeing bluebirds; key benefits were enjoyment, health, and experiencing nature. Respondents will stop their activities eventually, citing mobility, time, and health constraints, but had taken little action to recruit replacements. To address turnover among bluebird trail managers, conservation organizations should diversify the volunteer base, offer flexible commitment levels, meet expectations, maintain motivations, and support the transition from retiring volunteers to new volunteers. The article’s results will be helpful in recruiting and managing volunteers for other wildlife or natural resource conservation projects.