Eastern Wildlife Damage Control Conferences


Date of this Version

November 1995


Examples of wildlife-human conflicts include deer-automobile collisions, disease transmission concerns, and damage to various commodities (e. g. agricultural crops, timber production). The extent of these problems is increasing at a time when American's attitudes are shifting emphasis from commodity production to concern for the environment. Ecosystem management has been proposed as a strategy to balance concerns for commodity production and the environment. Ecosystem management, unlike traditional natural resource management, will require management over large areas for long periods of time. This new philosophy of land management requires that the natural resource base be viewed in its entirety, and not as separate and independent parts. Ecosystem management will require cooperative decision making by all stakeholders. The public wants to be involved in the definition of a healthy ecosystem as well as determining management strategies that maintain and enhance the integrity of ecosystems. Social, economic and ecological factors must be considered if ecosystem management is to be embraced by the public. Ecosystem function over the landscape has been altered by many factors including habitat modification, elimination of large predators, and introduction of exotic species. Examination of these factors suggests that wildlife damage management will need to be an integral part of practical ecosystem.