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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The impact of wildlife damage on wildlife management programs in Wisconsin

  • Author(s): Craven, Scott R.
  • et al.

Wildlife damage caused by species normally managed as game animals or furbearers should be of major concern to wildlife managers and various user groups: hunters, trappers, and other outdoor recreationists. Real or potential damage may be used as an important factor in determining population levels, harvest goals, and distribution of white-tailed deer and Canada geese in Wisconsin. In any state where private land and agriculture are important, such a strategy could reduce wildlife populations and associated recreational opportunities. Recent surveys in Wisconsin have quantified the amount and distribution of deer, goose, and turkey damage in Wisconsin. These data allow comparisons between wildlife damage and total agricultural production, other causes of crop loss, and the positive economic impact of these species. Additionally, comparisons are possible between perceived losses and maximum potential losses. A review of the problems caused by each animal provides a framework to discuss the issue of wildlife damage to farm crops and the implications for managers and resource users. The double-crested cormorant provides a special example of a resource management problem with wildlife damage.

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