Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for

 

Date of this Version

October 2000

Abstract

PZP and GnRH immunocontraceptive vaccines were each tested in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). Vaccination with PZP produced reversible infertility lasting 1 to 4 years. The first two years of active immunization resulted in an 89% reduction in fawning. Reduction in fawning for the 7-year study containing 4 years of no boosting was 72%. PZP immunization resulted in multi-estrus behavior, with contracepted deer returning to estrus up to 7 times. A five year study of GnRH immunization was conducted in both male and female deer. Treatment of does led to reduced fawning rates, reduced estrus behavior and reduced concentrations of progesterone. During active immunization GnRH does bred to untreated bucks had an 88% reduction in fawning caused by either immunocontraception or immunocontragestion. Reduction in fawning for the 5 year study containing 2 years of no boosting was 74%. The vaccine effect was reversible and directly related to the antibody titer. Infertility lasted up to two years without boosting. GnRH immunized bucks had no interest in sexual activity when paired with control females. Depending on the immunization schedule, antlers either dropped early or remained in velvet.