Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


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Dealing with the negative side of human-wildlife interactions has become an increasingly important part of wildlife man-agement. This situation is due to a combina-tion of factors: human population growth and urbanization, patterns of land use associ-ated with human activities, and the increase in abundance of some wildlife species that cause problems for people. A broad consen-sus exists among state wildlife agency staff, state agricultural department staff, wildlife extension specialists, U.S. Department of Agriculture-Animal Damage Control agents, and state Farm Bureau officials that wildlife damage on agricultural lands has increased during the past 30 years, and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) currently cause the greatest problems (Conover and Decker 1991). For example, 53% (25 of 47) of the Cornell Cooperative Extension agents who responded to a survey in 1990 indicated that the number of farmers reporting wildlife damage to crops or livestock was higher compared to 5 years earlier (Curtis and Decker 1990). Human and wildlife conflicts have also increased in importance in many suburban areas of the United States (San Julian 1987, Decker 1987). A number of different publics, including agriculturists, residential property owners, motor vehicle operators, and the general populace experi-ence or are affected by wildlife-damage-management problems (Sayre and Decker 1990).