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Wildlife management has evolved through a series of stages, with early efforts directed toward individual species. Since the late 1800s, however, more wildlife applications have incorporated a systems approach, where communities are managed to promote the quality, quantity, and fitness of most associated species. Vertebrate pest management has followed a similar course of development, although it has lagged behind in addressing the concept of systems management. I propose that a systems approach to vertebrate pest management should include the consideration of all potential problem species of an area or situation and should integrate damage prevention and control strategies that minimize damage caused by those species identified as economically or socially detrimental. The systems approach can provide long-term benefits and is therefore generally cost-effective. It works in accordance with integrated pest management principles and proactive interdisciplinary programming and can be incorporated into agricultural profitability and sustainable agriculture initiatives. Examples where the systems approach to vertebrate pest management could be feasible are provided.