Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Human-Wildlife Conflicts Volume 1, Number 1, Pages 13–20, Spring 2007. Published and copyright by the Jack H. Berryman Institute. http://www.berrymaninstitute.org/journal/index.html


Through the early twentieth century, people in rural areas of North America either dealt with problems caused by wildlife by killing the problem species, eliminating its habitat, changing crops or husbandry practices, tolerating the damage, or moving to a new area devoid of such problem animals. However, many of these solutions are impractical today with the increase in human populations, the increased expansion of development into previously rural landscapes, the increased fragmentation of land ownership, and the increasing movement of people into metropolitan areas. Because of current local, state, and federal ordinances and regulations, along with the impacts of animal rights and activist groups on public sensitivities, there are more rigid constraints on the tools, techniques, and capabilities that an individual or community in urban or rural areas can utilize to address a wildlife damage problem. The great majority of individuals today care about the humane treatment of animals and are sensitive to some of the claims, whether correct or not, made by animal activists, but they are much more likely to expect someone else to handle their problems as a community service or for a fee. This paper provides highlights of a historical perspective on the evolution of wildlife damage management in the United States, insight about the development of the Berryman Institute, and some future challenges for the profession.