Date of this Version
The nuisance wildlife control industry is rapidly expanding in New York State. To gain additional insight about this industry and the number of animals handled, we reviewed the 1989-90 annual logs submitted by Nuisance Wildlife Control Orators (NWC0s) to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The specific objectives of this study were to determine: (1) the number and species of different wildlife responsible for damage incidents, (2) the cause of damage complaints, (3) the disposition of animals handled, (4) the location of damage events (i.e., urban, suburban, rural), and (5) an estimate of the economic impact of the nuisance wildlife industry in Upstate New York. The Nuisance Wildlife Logs (NWLs) were examined for 7 urban and 7 rural counties (25.5% of Upstate counties), and these data were used to estimate total NWCO activity in DEC Regions 3 through 9 (excludes Long Island). Approximately 75% of NWCOs licensed by DEC were active during 1989-90, and nearly 2,800 complaints were handled in the 14 counties sampled. More than 90% of complaints came from urban counties, and we estimated that NWC0s responded to more than 11,000 calls in Upstate New York. At a conservative estimate of $35/call, revenue generated by this industry exceeded $385,000 annually. Six wildlife species accounted for 85% of the nuisance complaints in urban and rural counties. During 1986 to 1993, the number of NWCOs licensed by DEC nearly quadrupled, and there is no indication that this trend will change in the near future.