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Wildlife is a public resource greatly valued by all Americans. As the stewards of this valuable resource, wildlife managers plan management actions based upon the best biological information available. Often, though, they do not clearly explain the economic benefits of their actions. Thorough economic analyses can aid in the prioritization of management efforts. Additionally, as more citizens request increasing fiscal responsibility from government agencies, wildlife managers can turn to economics to provide information on the financial benefits and costs associated with their management activities.
Within the National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC)—the research arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services (WS) program— economics is emerging as an exciting and valuable new tool for quantifying the benefits and costs associated with wildlife damage management. NWRC economists partner with WS employees, State and local governments, and universities to develop economic research and applications. This leaflet describes some of the methods used and strategies for integrating economic analyses into daily wildlife damage management and research activities.