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DeStefano, Stephen

Research Professor and USGS Massachusetts Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Leader

Phone: 413-545-4889
Room 314 Holdsworth
Email: sdestef
Personal Website:
Massachusetts Biennial Report 2012-2013
Massachusetts Biennial Report 2014-2015
Massachusetts Biennial Report 2016-2017

Primary interests

As a member of the Cooperative Research Unit program and Unit Leader for the Massachusetts Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Dr. DeStefano directs a program of research, education, and service focused on fish and wildlife ecology, habitat relationships, and conservation biology and management, in cooperation with several agencies and organizations. His research interests are broadly defined by wildlife biology and terrestrial ecology, with the underlying focus and common themes of population ecology (demography, population dynamics, survival analysis), wildlife-habitat relationships (response to vegetation structure, use-availability analyses, correlation to population demography), the influence of anthropogenic factors (urban-suburban development, disturbance) on wildlife populations, and the science and management of game populations and “overabundant” wildlife. These topics have numerous implications for ecological research and wildlife management, especially as they relate to conservation biology, recovery of endangered species, human-wildlife interactions, and the impact of human activities on wildlife populations.

Current Projects

  • DAVE WATTLES (PhD):  Movements and landscape pattern use by moose in s. New England
  • EDWARD FAISON (PhD):  Experimental exclosures to assess moose/deer browsing
  • LAURA CONLEE (PhD):  Demography and habitat of black bears in urban-rural environments
  • LUANNE JOHNSON (PhD):  Impacts of predation on beach-nesting birds by striped skunks
  • DANIEL E. CLARK (PhD):  Gull ecology and movements in relation to large public water supplies
  • JENNIFER HIGBIE (PhD; co-advised with Dr. John MacDonald):  Wildlife use of a solar array farm
  • MICHAEL HUGUENIN (MS):  Trends in human-wildlife interactions as related to land use
  • ERIC LeFLORE (MS; co-advised with Dr. Todd Fuller):  Distribution of mesocarnivores in suburban-rural environments

Courses Taught

  • Research Concepts for Environmental Conservation (ECO 601)

Selected Recent Publications

Clark, D. E., K. K. G. Koenen, J. Pereira, K. MacKenzie, and S. DeStefano. Use of stainless steel wires to exclude ring-billed gulls from a municipal waste water treatment plant. American Water Works Association, in revision.

Clark, D. E., K. G. Koenen, J. Pereira, K. MacKenzie, and S. DeStefano. A versatile technique for capturing urban gulls during winter. Wildlife Society Bulletin, submitted.

Lerman, S. B., K. H. Nislow, D. J. Nowak, S. DeStefano, D. I. King, and D. T. Jones-Farrand. Using urban forest assessment tools to model bird habitat potential. Landscape and Urban Planning, submitted.

McCarthy, K. P., and S. DeStefano. Behavioral responses of common loons to disturbance during breeding. Journal of Wildlife Management, in revision.

Nishida, C., C. Boal, R. J. Hobbs, and S. DeStefano. Nesting habitat and productivity of Swainson’s hawks in southeastern Arizona. Journal of Raptor Research, revised.

Schlossberg, S., D. I. King, S. DeStefano, and M. Hartley. Landscape-scale effects of early-successional habitat on demography of a mature-forest songbird. Biological Conservation, submitted.

Strules, J., and S. DeStefano. Salt drive in beavers: an experimental assessment with field feeding trials. Journal of Mammalogy, in prep.

Wattles, D., and S. DeStefano. Habitat use by moose in Massachusetts: assessing the differences at the southern edge of the range. Alces, submitted.

Wattles, D., and S. DeStefano. Home range size and movements of moose in Massachusetts: implications for conservation in a fragmented environment. Alces, accepted.

DeStefano, S. 2013. Status of exotic grasses and grass-like vegetation and potential impacts on wildlife in New England. Wildlife Society Bulletin, in press.

DeStefano, S., K. K. G. Koenen, and J. Pereira. 2013. Common loon incubates rocks as surrogates for eggs. Northeastern Naturalist 20:143-147.

Bies, L., M. Hutchins, J. Organ, and S. DeStefano. 2012. Chapter 7. The role of professional societies in connecting science and management. In Sands et al. Wildlife science: connecting research with management. CRC Press: Taylor Francis Group, Boca Raton, Florida, USA.

DeStefano, S., and C. M. Webster. 2012. Distribution and habitat of greater roadrunners in urban and suburban Arizona. Studies in Avian Biology 45:155-166.

McCarthy, K. P., and S. DeStefano. 2011. Common loon nest defense against an American mink. Northeastern Naturalist 18:247-249.

McCarthy, K. P., and S. DeStefano. 2011. Effects of spatial disturbance on common loon nest site selection and territory success. Journal of Wildlife Management 75:289-296.

McDonald, J. E., S. DeStefano, C. Gaughan, M. Meyer, W. A. Woytek, S. Christensen, and T. K. Fuller. 2011. Survival and harvest-related mortality of white-tailed deer in Massachusetts. Wildlife Society Bulletin 35:209–219.

Mueller, T., K. A. Olson, G. Dressler, P. Leimgruber, T. K. Fuller, C. Nicolson, A. Novaro, M. Bolgeri, D. Wattles, S. DeStefano, J. Calabrese, and W. F. Fagan. 2011. How landscape dynamics link individual- to population-level movement patterns: a multispecies comparison of ungulate relocation data. Global Ecology and Biogeography 20:683–694.

Stein A. B., T. K. Fuller, S. DeStefano, and L. L. Marker. 2011. Leopard population and home range estimates in north-central Namibia. African Journal of Ecology 49:383-387.

Wattles, D., and S. DeStefano. 2011. Status and management of moose in the northeastern United States. Alces 47:53-68.

DeStefano, S. 2010. Coyote at the kitchen door: living with wildlife in suburbia. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

DeStefano, S., E. Faison, J. Compton, and D. Wattles. 2010. Forest exclosures: an experimental approach to understanding browsing by moose and deer. Massachusetts Wildlife 60:14-23.

DeStefano, S., and D. Wattles. 2010. Tracking the Commonwealth’s moose: GPS technology and the Massachusetts moose research project. Massachusetts Wildlife 59:12-25.

Fuller, T. K., S. DeStefano, and P. S. Warren. 2010. Carnivore behavior and ecology, and relationship to urbanization. In S. Gehrt et al., eds. Urban carnivores. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD.

McCarthy, K. P., S. DeStefano, and T. Laskowski. 2010. Bald eagle predation on common loon egg. Journal of Raptor Research 44:249–251.

Chandler, R. B., D. I. King, and S. DeStefano. 2009. Scrub-shrub bird habitat associations at multiple spatial scales in beaver meadows in Massachusetts. Auk 126:187-197.

DeStefano, S. 2009. Wildlife corridors and developed landscapes. In X. Esparza and G. R. McPherson, eds. The Planner’s Guide to Natural Resource Conservation. Springer Book Publishers, New York, NY.


Allison, N. L., and S. DeStefano. 2006. Equipment and techniques for nocturnal studies of wildlife. Wildlife Society Bulletin 34:1036-1044.

DeStefano, S., K. K. G. Koenen, C. M. Henner, and J. Strules. 2006. The transition to independence in subadult beavers ( Castor canadensis ) in an unexploited, exponentially growing population. Journal of Zoology 269:434-441.

DeStefano, S., M. T. McGrath, S. M. Desimone, and S. K. Daw. 2006. Ecology and habitat of breeding northern goshawks in the inland Pacific Northwest : a summary of research in the 1990s. Studies in Avian Biology 31:76-85.

Fayer, R., M. Santin, J. M. Trout, S. DeStefano, K. Koenen, and T. Kaur. 2006. Prevalence of Microsporidia, Cryptosporidium spp., and Giardia spp. in beavers (Castor canadensis) in Massachusetts. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 37:492-497.

Hobbs , R. J., S. DeStefano, and W. L. Halvorson. 2006. Breeding biology and nest-site selection of red-tailed hawks in an altered desert grassland. Journal of Raptor Research 40:38-45.

Rogers, A. S., S. DeStefano, and M. F. Ingraldi. 2006. Diet, prey delivery rates, and prey biomass of northern goshawks in east-central Arizona . Studies in Avian Biology 31:221-229.

Andersen, D. A., S. DeStefano, M. I. Goldstein, K. Titus, C. Crocker-Bedford, J. J. Keane, R. G. Anthony, and R. N. Rosenfield. 2005. Technical review of the status of northern goshawks in the western United States . Journal of Raptor Research 39:192-209.

DeStefano, S. 2005. A review of the status and distribution of northern goshawks in New England . Journal of Raptor Research 39:324-332.

DeStefano, S., and R. D. Deblinger. 2005. Wildlife as valuable natural resources versus intolerable pests: a suburban wildlife management model. Urban Ecosystems 8:177-188.

DeStefano, S., R. D. Deblinger, and C. Miller. 2005. Suburban wildlife: lessons, challenges, and opportunities. Urban Ecosystems 8:131-136.

DeStefano, S., and E. A. Johnson. 2005. Species that benefit from sprawl. Pages 206-235 in E. A. Johnson and M. W. Klemens, eds. Nature in fragments, the legacy of sprawl. Columbia University Press, New York .

Desimone, S. M., and S. DeStefano. 2005. Temporal patterns of northern goshawk nest area occupancy and habitat: a retrospective analysis. J. Raptor Research 39:299-312.

Gaughan, C. R., and S. DeStefano. 2005. Quantifying edge and assessing effects of suburban development on white-tailed deer movement patterns. Urban Ecosystems 8:189-200.

Jordan, C. N., T. Kaur, K. Koenen, S. DeStefano, A. M. Zajac, and D. S. Lindsay. 2005. Prevalence of agglutinating antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii and Sarcocystis neurona in beavers ( Castor canadensis ) from Massachusetts . Journal of Parasitology 91:210-211.

Koenen, K., S. DeStefano, C. Henner, and T. Beroldi. 2005. From the field: capturing beavers in box traps. Wildlife Society Bulletin 33:1153-1159.

Rogers, A. S., S. DeStefano, and M. F. Ingraldi. 2005. Quantifying northern goshawk diets using remote cameras and observations from blinds. Journal of Raptor Research 39:303-309.

Page updated: October 2, 2017