Date of this Version
Proceedings 18th Vertebrate Pest Conference, ed. R.O. Baker & A.C. Crabb. Published at University of California, Davis, 1998.
Wildlife damage management has often emphasized density reduction through lethal means. In addition to facing increasing regulatory and social restrictions, this approach also faces ecological problems; density reduction without a concomitant decrease in carrying capacity may only stimulate density-dependent responses that quickly return population densities to pre-control levels. Consequently, habitat manipulation, either to reduce pest density or to divert the pest away from the commodity, has been pursued as an alternative. Habitat manipulation has proven effective in some circumstances and appears promising in others, but the approach is limited by our ability to identify limiting resources or highly preferred foods that can be manipulated economically and with the desired effect. Further, habitat manipulation is not always a long-term solution, may have unwanted effects on non-target species, and may be ineffective if not viewed on a regional scale. Nonetheless, the approach is promising in certain situations. Further research is needed.