Privatization and regulatory oversight of commercial wildlife control activities in the United States
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Urbanization decreases the amount of natural habitat available to wildlife but some species are able to adapt to and even thrive in human-dominated landscapes. When humans and wildlife live in close proximity the number of conflicts increase. Natural resource and agricultural departments were not designed to handle urban problems or the number of complaints that arise in urban areas, and the nuisance wildlife control (NWC) industry has developed in response to the unmet demand for assistance. Members of the wildlife profession have expressed concerns over the impact the nuisance wildlife control industry may have on wildlife, the public, and wildlife management, but no national studies were found that examined the size, growth, and/or economic impact of the industry. The most recent national reviews of regulation and oversight took place ≥10 years ago. This study examines 2 broad features of the NWC industry: 1) size and economic impact of the industry in the U.S. (e.g., number of businesses, annual sales revenue generated); and 2) the national regulatory environment. A total of 3,153 NWC businesses were identified in the U.S., and a conservative annual sales figure of $140 million was estimated for the wildlife removal services only. Changes in the regulatory environment from 1997-2007 were examined using a 10-category scoring system developed during an earlier study, and comparing the results of both studies. Changes were observed (P ≤ 0.05) for 9 of 10 characteristics, and the average cumulative score rose from 2.20 to 4.28 out of 10.0.
Lindsey, Kieran J. (2007). Privatization and regulatory oversight of commercial wildlife control activities in the United States. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from