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Open Access Publications from the University of California

“Nuisance” Wildlife Control Trapping: Another Perspective


Urban wildlife control is a rapidly growing profession in which many practitioners apparently still come from a recreational or commercial trapping background. Perhaps for that reason, much of the “control” in resolving human-wildlife conflicts in cities and suburbs seems to revolve around the use of lethal traps to eliminate “problem” animals. Although some states allow relocation and most apparently allow for nuisance animals to be released on site, the extent to which these practices occur is little known. Further, the biological impacts of continual trapping cycles on urban wildlife populations remain little known as well. An alternative approach to trapping is to exclude problem animals, as is the generally accepted protocol with bats, taking care to avoid separating young from their mothers, or employing techniques to reunite mother and young through a carefully crafted reunion strategy. AAA Wildlife Control is a large wildlife control business based out of Toronto, Canada, that employs almost exclusively an exclusion-reunion strategy. This paper addresses the rationale for that approach and the general strategies the company uses for common problem species. Exclusion-reunion is arguably the most humane and biologically sound approach to wildlife conflict resolution, at least from the animal’s perspective, but questions will be raised about the potential transfer of “problems” from one site to another. These and other implications of this approach are raised and discussed based on multiple years of customer service.

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