Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for



Date of this Version

April 2002


The Wildlife Services (WS) program responds to requests by the public and agencies in need of help in dealing with wildlife damage. A Federal service program that shares costs with cooperators, WS is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). WS has the authority to assist in solving problems that are created when wildlife causes damage to agricultural property, or natural resources. WS also assists with wildlife problems involving threats to human health and safety and threatened or endangered species.

WS considers the well-being of the public and wildlife at all times. WS acts as a protective buffer, guarding not only resources, but also wildlife and the environment when conflicts between humans and wildlife occur. When formulating control strategies, WS specialists consider protected or endangered animals, environmental impacts, the cost effectiveness of control methods, and social and legal concerns. Control strategies may include the application of one or more techniques, and consideration is first given to nonlethal methods.