chapter  24
30 Pages

Overview and Management of Vertebrate Pests

ByRichard A. Dolbeer

Agricultural pest management has traditionally focused on arthropods, weeds, and pathogenic organisms. However, many vertebrate species (primarily wild birds and mammals) at one time or another require management actions to reduce conflicts with agricultural production. In fact, vertebrate pest problems appear to be increasing in the United States [25]; in large part because successful wildlife management and conservation programs, as well as land use changes, have allowed populations of many vertebrate species such as deer, geese, and blackbirds to expand. In a 1989 survey of American farmers, about half of all field crop producers reported wildlife-related losses that totaled $237 million annually [117].