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The Importance of Wildlife Damage Control

Wildlife are valuable natural resources and important components of a healthy ecosystem. They also provide many economic, recreational and aesthetic benefits. However, given the wrong set of circumstances, almost any species of wildlife can become a nuisance. Wildlife damage control is an important part of wildlife management on your property. The more the human population expands, the more problems you have with controlling the wildlife. When you get too many of one species in a certain location, some kind of control must be done to reduce the conflicts with humans or other wildlife species.  Wildlife Control or Animal Damage Control (ADC) is a complex process and requires several components to be effective and successful.  To learn more about implementing and effective control plan click here.


There are a number of species that you may experience conflicts with and will need to take some sort of control measures with. The name of each species below is a link to a resource page all about that particular species.



Some conflicts with wildlife may be relatively minor inconveniences and are to be expected. At times, wildlife may simply be a nuisance, such as a few geese in a park, or cause minor damage that is easily tolerated, such as one or two moles in a lawn. However, other conflicts may be more serious and require action.


Examples include the following:


  • Losses of livestock and poultry

  • Damage to crops and property

  • Hazards to human health or safety

  • Structural damage to personal property

  • Damage to timber and other natural resources


These problems can be caused by a variety of wildlife species. Predators such as coyotes may prey on sheep, calves or even pets. Rodents such as Norway rats, house mice and prairie voles can cause serious economic problems in urban areas, crops and gardens, as well as be a nuisance around the home. Flocks of birds near airports may collide with aircraft. Damage caused by beavers and muskrats may weaken levees or plug drainages. Deer can eat crops and damage landscape plantings. Birds such as starlings, blackbirds and house sparrows may be a nuisance and cause economic loss on a farm.


The presence of wildlife around your home or on your property is typically beneficial, but potential problems are caused when wildlife conflict with your goals and objectives. Landowners and homeowners need to be both tolerant of some damage caused by nuisance wildlife and proactive in taking appropriate action to prevent wildlife damage problems. Preventing and controlling damage caused by wildlife can be costly, so consider the costs and benefits before initiating a wildlife damage management program.


There are a many methods and techniques for prevention and control of wildlife damage. The effectiveness of each control method depends on the biology of the species, timing, and skill of application. Some techniques that are effective for one species may be totally ineffective for other species. Some techniques may not be legal for control of certain wildlife. Before attempting any control method, check federal, state and local regulations. Often times consulting with a professional ADC (Animal Damage Control) technician or NWCO (Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator) is the best place to start when dealing with nuisance wildlife or damage caused by wildlife.


All prevention and control techniques and methods fit under one of these 10 categories.


  • Exclusion of problem wildlife

  • Habitat modification

  • Frightening

  • Repellents

  • Toxicants

  • Fumigants

  • Trapping

  • Shooting

  • Nontraditional methods

  • Proactive planning and for prevention






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