Eastern Wildlife Damage Control Conferences


Date of this Version

February 1991


Five courses were offered by Utah State University's Program in Wildlife Damage Management (WDM) in 1991: (1) Principles of WDM, (2) WDM Techniques, (3) Wildlife Livestock Relationships, (4) WDM Policy, and (5) Urban Wildlife Management. Principles of WDM was the introductory course in this series. It was an upper-division course; most students were in the Colleges of Agriculture and Natural Resources. In this paper, I provide a synopsis of this course hoping such information will be useful to other people designing a course on this topic.

Rather than using a textbook for Principles of WDM, students were required to read papers from the scientific literature. I also encouraged students to obtain a copy of Prevention and Control of Wildlife Damage as a reference book. Grades were based on mid-term and final exams, and an oral and written research proposal.

Each research proposal focused on a WDM problem of the student's choice. Students conducted a literature search to identify the pertinent literature and to determine what was already known about the problem. Students had to use their ingenuity to determine additional information that was needed before problem resolution was possible, and to design a critical experiment to obtain that information. Students presented their proposals both orally to the class and in writing. The paper conformed to the style of the Journal of Wildlife Management. These proposals were edited as if submitted for publication. If not satisfactory, they had to be rewritten and resubmitted until they were satisfactory.

Lecture topics were broken into 4 broad subject areas: (1) history and philosophy of WDM and its relationship to the discipline of wildlife management, (2) WDM problems, (3) potential solutions to WDM problems, and (4) human dimensions. These topics are discussed below.