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Wildlife Damage Management: Home

Provides information and resources pertaining to all aspects of wildlife damage management.


Jocelyn Boice
Assistant Professor

Liaison to: Natural Resources and Biology
Colorado State University Libraries
1019 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO  80523-1019
Phone: (970) 491-3882


Kay Knudsen
Research Center Librarian

Colorado Parks and Wildlife
317 W. Prospect Road
Fort Collins, CO 80526
Phone: 970-472-4353


National Wildlife Research Center
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Wildlife Services
Animal Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS)
4101 LaPorte Avenue
Fort Collins, CO 80521
Phone: (970) 266-6000
Fax: (970) 266-6010

About Wildlife Damage Management

                                  Wildlife Damage Management Overview

Wildlife damage management can be defined as the reduction of damage or other problems caused by, or related to, the presence and behavior of wildlife. It can be considered a sub-discipline or component of wildlife management.

Wild animals are valuable natural resources and important to a healthy ecosystem. They also provide economic, recreational, and aesthetic benefits. To many people, the knowledge that wildlife exists is a positive benefit in itself.

Overabundant Animals

The continued growth of human populations, however, and their expansion into new areas has increased interactions between humans and wildlife and added new dimensions to the age-old problem of human-wildlife conflict. Wildlife not only eats food and fiber crops, but rodents and birds (and even coyotes and other carnivores) cause problems in urban and suburban areas, endangered and threatened species are preyed upon, wildlife-borne diseases are transmitted, and environmental damage is caused by invasive (nonnative) species.

Indeed, animal species considered as pests or "problems" have undergone a large increase in only the past couple of decades. Many of the species of animals once considered desirable, increasingly are found in the news-attacking people or pets, damaging property, causing vehicle or aircraft collisions, fouling public areas, or creating nuisances. In the United States, white-tailed deer, beaver, and Canada geese-all species that occurred in limited numbers a century ago-are increasingly requiring management efforts in urban and suburban areas.

Economic Losses

Wildlife is a public resource valued by all Americans. When humans and wildlife live in close proximity, conflicts frequently occur. Wildlife cause damage to agriculture and natural resources and can transmit diseases that affect public health. To mitigate these conflicts, wildlife managers plan management actions based on the best biological information available. Often, the economic implications of these plans are unknown. The Economics Project at the National Wildlife Research Center conducts analyses to help prioritize management efforts by identifying the most cost-effective management techniques.  

Science and Politics

While it is known that wildlife species sometimes cause significant damage, the problems are not usually easily solved and the solutions are often hotly debated. The science of modern wildlife management involves manipulating wildlife populations, habitats, and people to achieve specific goals. Wildlife species are managed to preserve a diversity of species and ecosystems, to maintain animal populations for both consumptive and nonconsumptive purposes, to control excess nuisance species, and to respond to human needs.

Scientific research and political pressures both affect wildlife management decisions. State and federal agencies have a mandate to provide for the welfare and perpetuation of wildlife but these agencies must also be responsive to the public by resolving damage and other problems caused by wildlife.




Colorado State University Library, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and the NWRC are partners of the AgNIC alliance, a leading collaborative provider of access to quality food, agriculture, and natural resources information and expertise.

The Agriculture Network Information Collaborative (AgNIC) is a voluntary partnership of libraries and land-grant institutions, Cooperative Extension, and state and federal research groups to provide access to selected, quality agricultural information.