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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Efficacy of OvoControl® (0.5% nicarbazin) in the Management of Feral Pigeons (Columba livia)

  • Author(s): Wolf, Erick
  • MacDonald, Alexander
  • et al.

In a joint program, Innolytics and the USDA National Wildlife Research Center collaborated in the development of nicarbazin as an avian contraceptive, initially for resident Canada geese and subsequently for feral pigeons. Unfortunately, the introduction of the original goose product, OvoControl G, in 2005, was a commercial failure. Political and social barriers as well as goose reproductive biology effectively thwarted attempts to establish the new technology with any meaningful market success. The introduction of the pigeon contraceptive has been less difficult and the new technology continues to gather momentum. Nevertheless, given the focus on instant results and gratification, contraceptive technology for birds – which works over time – continues to be challenging, and broad market acceptance remains elusive. Especially for short-lived and rapidly reproducing species, however, the market continues to replace outdated or ineffective techniques with the safer and more effective contraceptive tools.

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