USDA National Wildlife Research Center Symposia


Date of this Version

August 2000


Legal regulations concerning wildlife damage in Germany are totally different from regulations in the United States. In certain cases German game laws provide the right to compensation for wildlife damage to forests for forest owners. But not everyone has to be compensated. Liability exists only for damage caused by hooved game, rabbits, and pheasants, and only to important local tree species (Hauptholzarten). If, for example, red deer damage an afforestation of Norway spruce (Picea abies) by browsing, normally the shooting tenant has to compensate for the damage. The most important types of damage to forests in Germany are browsing and debarking by red deer (Cervus elaphus) and browsing and rubbing by roe deer (Capreolus capreolus). For a forest owner to gain compensation, a special procedure is prescribed in the game laws. If no amicable agreement between shooting tenant and forest owner can be reached, a forest expert has to evaluate the economic damage. Therefore, in Germany, several methods of economic assessment of damage to forests caused by wildlife have been developed. Two methods in use are presented and discussed.