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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The human element in wildlife damage situations


The field of prevention and control of wildlife damage is changing and evolving along with clientele needs, pressures from user and non-user groups, and other factors. A theoretical overview of the field may offer an action model regarding changing trends and potential responses. I propose that three things happen every time a wildlife damage problem occurs: 1) A human activity, desire, or need is interfered with, 2) the experience footers an opinion about a wild animal usually negative, and 3) a decision is made to tolerate the situation or to control it. If control is selected, availability and effectiveness of prevention and control techniques become feedback mechanisms that may affect tolerance of damage; threshold levels at which control is initiated; and opinions about damage control, wild animals, and natural systems. Wildlife damage professionals might use these concepts in responding to enhance the public understanding and professional image of the wildlife damage field.

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