Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for

 

Date of this Version

April 1987

Abstract

A recent memo out of our regional office says that we shall refer to this subject as seasonal predator management. You know it covers a lot of other terms; we used to call it predator control and so on. But going back to the origins of predator management in this country, we generally think of protecting domestic crops, be it trees or grains or sheep or cattle.

If you turn in another direction and look towards Europe, you can see many centuries of involvement in use of the land. There game is a product of the land and is owned by the landowner. They refer to game as their property and handle it as such. In some places it is managed out of existence, and in others it is highest on their agenda for production. Predators of game, if landowners want to raise game, are considered vermin. They are not given the time of day or words of praise. It gets down to standard approach and is not even talked about; landowners decided centuries ago that the vermin would be removed so that they could raise the pheasant or cottontail or whatever they want to raise.

I think back to the philosophy of the balance of nature, a popularized conundrum during the youth of most of us here and maybe at Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, where I worked from 1968 through 1984. In the early years (196O's) most of the people there had grown up with that philosophy and teachings, and it was rather a shock to see what was occurring with duck nesting out there in the real world. It was a significant shock to see the overall effects on nesting. By 1973 there was a consensus at that station that it was something that had to be reckoned with in one way or another if we were going to preserve or enhance waterfowl production. We have not come to the point of European game management, although that may be arriving on the East Coast and other areas east of here.