U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version



Behaviour and Management of European Ungulates, 2015


Impacts of overabundant ungulate populations on human activities and conservation include crop and forestry losses, collisions with vehicles, disease transmission, nuisance behaviour, damage to infrastructures, predation on livestock and native species, and reduction of biodiversity in plant and animal communities (e.g. Curtis et ai., 2002; Massei et al., 2011; Reimoser and Putman, 2011; Ferroglio et ai., 2011; Langbein et al., 2011). Current trends in human population growth and landscape development indicate that human-ungulate conflicts in Europe, as well as in the United States, are likely to increase in parallel with increased expansion in numbers and range of many of these species (Rutberg and Naugle, 2008; Brainerd and Kaltenborn, 2010; Gionfriddo et aI., 2011 a). Many of these conflicts have been traditionally managed by lethal methods. However, current trends in distribution and numbers of wild boar, feral pigs and deer in Europe and in the United States (e.g. Saez-Royuela and Telleria, 1986; Waithman et ai., 1999; Ward, 2005; Apollonio et al., 2010) suggest that recreational hlllting is not sufficient to control ungulate densities. In addition, ethical considerations regarding humane treatment of animals are increasingly shaping public attitudes about what are considered acceptable methods of mitigating human-wildlife conflicts, and lethal control is often opposed (Beringer et al., 2002; Wilson, 2003; Barfield et al., 2006; McShea, 2012). Public antipathy towards lethal methods increasingly constrains the options available for ungulate management, particularly in urban and suburban areas and in protected areas where culling is often opposed on ethical, legal or safety grounds (Kirkpatrick et al., 2011; Boulanger et al., 2012; Rutberg et al., 2013). Consequently, interest in non-lethal methods, such as translocation or fertility control, has increased (Fagerstone et ai., 2010).

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