Human-Wildlife Conflicts and Wildlife Contraception

Pervasive human impacts on our environment have led to the imperilment of many wildlife species. Others, however, thrive in human-dominated landscapes, leading to conflicts between members of these wild species and ourselves. In urban and suburban environments, these conflicts are felt at both the personal level—squirrels in the attic, raccoons knocking over garbage cans—and at the community level, in the form of threats (or perceived threats) to public health, safety and prosperity. In New England, community concerns focus on beaver, deer, Canada geese and coyotes, each of which poses its own challenges—and opportunities for education, mutual tolerance and wildlife appreciation.

Focusing on these four species, CAPP students and faculty have conducted research examining public attitudes towards wildlife and evaluated the effectiveness and acceptability of different conflict management techniques. In addition, CAPP faculty are deeply engaged in the field testing and development of humane, effective and practical immunocontraceptive vaccines for the control of urban and suburban populations of white-tailed deer.