Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version

December 1993


Over 90% of Iowa's land base is privately owned and managed for agriculture. Less than 2% is publicly-owned and managed specifically for wildlife. Thus, virtually all of Iowa's 36 million acres (14.8 million hectares) has been altered. Some 70% of the forests have been lost, over 95% of the wetlands drained, and over 99.9% of the native prairies have been converted to agricultural, transportation, or other human uses. Such extensive alteration of habitats encourages the wildlife species that are ecological generalists to flourish. These species are also those that are most likely to come into conflict with humans, competing with us for food and other resources. At the same time, wildlife biologists have sought to increase populations of deer, turkey, and other game species. Thus, the potential for both nuisance and real damage to crops, buildings and other structures is high.