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


Date of this Version

January 2007


Published in Proceedings of the 12th Wildlife Damage Management Conference (D.L. Nolte, W.M. Arjo, D.H. Stalman, Eds). 2007.


In 1992, the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) opened an Investigational New Animal Drug (INAD) file for the avian immobilizing agent, alpha-chloralose (AC) for the United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Currently, this INAD authorizes trained Wildlife Services (WS) personnel to use AC to immobilize and live-capture nuisance waterfowl (Anatidae spp.), American coots (Fulica americana), pigeons (Columba livia), common ravens (Corvus corax) and sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis). The use of AC has proven to be a valuable tool for WS and the number of birds captured with AC increased more than four-fold between 1993 and 2005. One requirement for using AC under the INAD is the submission of detailed semiannual reports documenting AC use to FDA. Based on the reports from October 2004 through September 2005, WS conducted 194 operations to immobilize and remove birds in 22 states, and used 413 grams of technical and 30 grams of tablets, totaling 443 grams of AC. Canada geese were the most frequently targeted species, accounting for 50% of all operations. The capture rate for all target birds using powdered AC was 80.2%, and 86.2% using tablets. The percent mortality of all target birds using powdered AC was 3.1%, and 4.9% using tablets.