Developing the first regional IPM training manual for wildlife control operators in the Northeast

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The American public places a high value on wildlife, yet at the same time, “nuisance” wildlife may cause formidable and expensive problems. They may damage property, threaten human health and safety, or endanger native species and habitats. National estimates of the cost of wildlife damage to agriculture range up to $1.5 billion dollars annually, with equal costs associated with accidents caused by collisions between wildlife and cars or planes. Wildlife can spread diseases to people, livestock, or pets. Nearly all segments of society are vulnerable to wildlife damage. Traditionally, government agencies handled many of these conflicts. Public demand for wildlife control services has increased but government support for on-site assistance has not kept pace. Consequently, the commercial pest control industry is filling this need. Several state wildlife agencies are facing increasing public pressure to strengthen their oversight of this rapidly expanding industry. More than three-quarters of the Northeastern states lack training programs for wildlife control operators (WCOs), while half either lack regulations or are in the process of developing regulations for this industry. The goal of this project was to develop and distribute a comprehensive, scientifically based training manual (based on the New York curriculum) that could serve as the foundation for educational and regulatory programs throughout the region, while also enhancing professionalism within the industry. The New York State manual was reviewed for suitability for use throughout the region by state wildlife agencies and wildlife control associations. It is currently under revision and has been accepted for publication by NRAES, the Natural Resource, Agriculture, and Engineering Service, a publishing consortium of Northeastern universities. After another technical review conducted by the publisher, the manual will be published in 2005.
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New York State IPM Program
Community IPM; Agricultural IPM; Communication
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