Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version

November 1979


The potential exists for a conflict to occur between endangered species and almost any type of human endeavor. Detrimental effects on endangered species are possible even as a result of efforts to benefit other endangered species. The types of possible conflicts range from potential problems that are easily solved in early planning processes to major brouhahas involving nearly every conceivable agency and party. Relative to bird control, it is important to understand the true magnitude of the situa- tion and to develop a factual perspective. According to Ziswiler (1967), 169 species and subspecies of birds have become extinct since the year 1600. The extinction of only six of these bird forms is attributed to active destruction by man as pest species. The only one of these native to North America was the Carolina parakeet (Conuropsis carolinensis), but even here it is unlikely that the parakeet’s demise was due solely to bird control activities (Laycock, 1975). In Ohio there are 76 species classified as endangered, seven of which are birds. Of the 76 species, none is endangered as a result of bird control work, although four of them are endangered through secondary effects of pesticides (Table 1). While these figures are for Ohio, the same general pattern is true both nationally and worldwide. Not suprisingly then, while pest control may be a paramount cause for some endangered species, it is not a very significant causal factor in the general problem of endangered species.