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Resolving Human-Wildlife Conflicts: The Science of Wildlife Damage Management

2001 Edition, August 29, 2001

Complete Document

Detail Summary

Active, Most Current

Additional Comments:
ISBN: 978-1-56670-538-7
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Product Details:

  • Revision: 2001 Edition, August 29, 2001
  • Published Date: August 29, 2001
  • Status: Active, Most Current
  • Document Language: English
  • Published By: CRC Press (CRC)
  • Page Count: 442
  • ANSI Approved: No
  • DoD Adopted: No

Description / Abstract:


Our knowledge on how to resolve human–wildlife conflicts, which is the science of wildlife damage management, has advanced tremendously since the first Vertebrate Pest Conference was held in 1962. This book is, in essence, a celebration of this remarkable advance. I invite readers to thumb through the references at the end of each chapter to gain some appreciation for the hundreds of people who have devoted their lives to increasing our knowledge base. Two groups of scientists stand out for the magnitude of their contributions to the advancement of this field. The first is the employees of the USDA/APHIS/Wildlife Services' National Wildlife Research Center. The second is wildlife extension specialists employed by the many land-grant universities throughout the United States. It is my hope that this book, the first compendium of our collective wisdom about how to resolve human–wildlife conflicts, will provide a sense of accomplishment to the many people who have labored in this field and will stimulate future research. It is the goal of wildlife damage management to create an ideal world where humans and wildlife can coexist without either having an adverse impact upon the other.

Organizing a book on the resolution of human–wildlife conflicts can take many directions. I could have included a chapter on each wildlife species or one on each type of wildlife problem. Instead, this book is organized on the basis of the fundamental concepts and principles upon which the field of wildlife damage management rests. I believe that by understanding these basic concepts, readers will be able to apply the information to any specific wildlife problem. For instance, the use of supplemental feeding is based on the optimal-foraging theory. The opportunities and challenges involved with using supplemental feeding are the same whether we are trying to divert deer from feeding along roads, bears from girdling trees, cranes from eating newly planted corn seeds, or foxes from depredating waterfowl nests.

In the first six chapters, I define the field of wildlife damage management, discuss its philosophy and history, and examine how wildlife threatens human health and safety, our economy, and the environment. I describe in chapters 7 to 13 how human–wildlife conflicts can be managed by reducing wildlife populations (lethal control and fertility control) or removing individual animals (lethal control and translocation) or by changing animal behavior (fear-provoking stimuli, chemical repellents, diversion, and exclusion). I then point out that we also can resolve human–wildlife conflicts by changing the resource so that it is less vulnerable to wildlife damage (chapter 14) or by changing people's perceptions about wildlife (chapter 15). In the final chapter, I provide three examples of how human–wildlife conflicts can be alleviated by using an integrated approach.

I think readers will discover that there are no panaceas for the resolution of human–wildlife conflicts, but rather there are many methods that can be used to address these conflicts. Although no single technique can help resolve all of them, hopefully, there will always be at least one technique which can be used to alleviate any specific wildlife problem.

A book of this size is usually a team effort, and I have many people to thank for contributing to this work. Anne Brown wrote the rough draft of the habitat manipulation, translocation, and part of the zoonoses chapters. Jaimi Butler-Curl wrote the rough draft of the fertility control chapter. Anne and Jaimi also edited all of the other chapters. Anne Brown and Ben West drew all the uncredited figures. Robert McLean and Kathleen Fagerstone provided up-to-date information for the zoonoses and chemical repellent chapters, respectively. Comments by Fred Knowlton and Robert Schmidt helped improve the lethal control and human dimensions chapters. Terry Messmer contributed to many of the ideas expressed in this book. Many students in my Principles of Wildlife Damage Management class helped edit the book, including Olin Albertson, Kimberly Anderson, Jarom Bangerter, Sophia Bates, Adam Bronson, Clint Brunson, Michael Burrell, Breta Campbell, Joe Caudell, Ruth Cecil, Trisha Cracroft, Justin Crump, John Curl, David Dahlgren, Joel Dunlap, Nicki Frey, Eriek Hansen, Ryan Hillyard, Jeremy Johnson, Tamara Johnson, Adrienne Marler, Damon McRae, Kevin Nettleton, Grizz Oleen, Landon Olson, Robert Peterson, Tana Pickett, John Reichert, Shane Ross, Dixie Sadlier, Ryan Shaw, Todd Sullivan, Maria Torres, John Treanor, Sharon Ward, and Edward Zakrajsek. To all of these people, my deepest thanks.