Eastern Wildlife Damage Control Conferences


Date of this Version

September 1985


The Alabama Game and Fish Division is responsible for the stewardship of the wildlife and fisheries resources in the state. Within this context and the cooperative efforts with other agencies that have dealings with animal damage, the Division develops, permits, approves and administers control of both game and non-game (except migratory) species of wildlife.

Animal control complaints fall into two major areas - crop damage and nuisance animals. Nuisance animals, with some exceptions, are bats, armadillos, alligators, woodpeckers, snakes, birds that roost or nest in rookeries. Squirrels, bears, rabbits are the cause of both nuisanced crop damage complaints. Deer, beaver, squirrel, bear and rabbits frequently are the cause of serious damage to agricultural crops, planted pines, ornamentals and orchards.

Approach to satisfying nuisance animal complaints is two fold. Preventive measures include actions such as closing entrance holes (bats, woodpeckers, squirrels) or altering the habitat to cause a change of range (clearing or thinning bird rookeries or roosts or prohibition of feeding activities (raccoons, bears, pigeons). If the preventative recommendations fail, removal of the nuisance animals by trapping and relocation or shooting is approved.

Crop damage complaints usually require removal of the animal(s). Permits are routinely issued to remove deer, rabbits, squirrels, raccoons at anytime or any manner expedient. Use of edible meat which result in removing these animals are designated by our agents so as to reduce waste to a minimum. A new program, the Alabama Deer Management Assistance Program (DMP) is operational and is expected to provide additional relief from deer damage even though the program is not designed specifically for this purpose.

The extent that Game and Fish Division personnel are involved in animal damage control is in investigating, permitting, enforcement of permit conditions, approval of other agency plans and to a secondary degree, instruction in trapping techniques, mostly leg-hold traps.