Date of this Version
Proceedings 18th Vertebrate Pest Conference, ed. R.O. Baker & A.C. Crabb. Published at University of California, Davis, 1998.
An 18-question survey was sent to all state wildlife agency directors in an attempt to evaluate state wildlife agencies' response to administrative oversight of nuisance wildlife control operators (NWCO). Forty-four (88 %) of the state wildlife agencies responded to the survey. Almost every state agency responding believes they should promote the growth and privatization of the NWCO industry. They also believe that their agency should provide administrative oversight. There were discrepancies in what agency personnel believe constitute oversight versus what policies are actually implemented. Although most agencies believe NWCO should be licensed, only 56% of states actually require licensing. Most agencies responding believe NWCO should be required to complete an educational program and a written examination prior to receiving a license, currently only 22% require some form of education prior to obtaining a license, and 15% require an examination prior to obtaining a license. Sixty percent of agencies believe NWCO should show evidence of financial responsibility and only 5% of states actually require NWCO to have liability insurance or post a surety bond. Fifty-six percent of the states require NWCO to submit written reports that document the number of each animal species captured (51%), disposition of animals (44%), location of capture animals (34%), release site information (22%), condition of captured animal (7%), and euthanization method (5%). Most states allow nuisance wildlife to be released on both private (90%) and public land (71 %). Approximately one-third of agencies have changed laws, policies, or regulations regarding NWCO and 47% of these changes are perceived to be more restrictive of NWCO activities. Most state agencies (78%) allow relocation of nuisance wildlife, but 17% of the states have restrictions on what species can be relocated. The primary reason for not allowing relocation of nuisance wildlife are disease (100%), impacts to resident wildlife populations (45%), humane reasons (18%) and a lack of suitable release sites (9%). These results show that state agencies believe they should encourage the growth and privatization of NWCO industry and that they should maintain administrative oversight.