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Moodus, CT, United States

Boulanger J.R.,Cornell University | Curtis P.D.,Cornell University | Cooch E.G.,Cornell University | Denicola A.J.,White Buffalo Inc.
Human-Wildlife Interactions | Year: 2012

Burgeoning white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) populations in suburban landscapes continue to impact communities and challenge natural resource managers. Increased deer-related damage to vegetation, ecosystems, and automobiles can exceed the tolerance of local stakeholders. We provide an overview of the potential efficacy of using surgical sterilization to help manage populations and conflicts associated with locally overabundant white-tailed deer populations. We review theoretical and field studies pertaining to deer sterilization, and provide research priorities to help guide future sterilization efforts. Recent field studies suggest that sterilization of female deer remains expensive, at approximately $1,000 per surgery. Sterilization may provide an alternative management technique for reducing suburban deer herds in communities willing to endure the costs of a long-term effort and where lethal deer removal is unacceptable or impractical. Surgical sterilization is scale-limited based on the ability to capture and sterilize 80% or more of the female deer in a population and maintain that proportion of the population treated over time. Overall success will be greatest for closed or insular deer herds where the effects of immigration can be minimized. Source


Morrison S.A.,Nature Conservancy | Denicola A.J.,White Buffalo Inc. | Walker K.,Native Range Inc. | Dewey D.,Nature Conservancy | And 3 more authors.
ORYX | Year: 2016

Eradication of introduced species is often necessary to conserve native biota on islands. Seven wild Turkeys Meleagris gallopavo were introduced to Santa Cruz Island, California, in 1975 and the population began to irrupt in the early 2000s. Turkeys posed a variety of threats to native species, including that they could replace the previously eradicated population of feral pigs Sus scrofa as a prey subsidy for golden eagles Aquila chrysaetos, which through incidental predation had driven three subspecies of island fox Urocyon littoralis to near extinction. We implemented a four-phase programme to eradicate the Turkey population, based on general principles for eradication efforts. For example, we focused on preventing individual Turkeys from becoming aware of our methods, which increased the likelihood we would be able to detect and dispatch all of the birds. Leveraging the tendency of Turkeys to aggregate during winter, we used baited drop nets, precision shooting, and monitoring of surgically sterilized, radio-telemetered 'Judas Turkeys' to eliminate the population. We estimate the population comprised 310 individuals when the project began in 2006 and that the last bird died in December 2012. Methods used in this project could be applied to other alien bird eradication programmes, of which there are few examples in the scientific literature. Copyright © Fauna & Flora International 2014. Source


Williams S.C.,U.S. Department of Soil and Water | De Nicola A.J.,White Buffalo Inc. | Almendinger T.,Duke Farms Foundation | Maddock J.,Bryn Athyn College
Wildlife Society Bulletin | Year: 2013

Hunting has been the primary white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) management tool for decades. Regulated hunting has been effective at meeting management objectives in rural areas, but typical logistical constraints placed on hunting in residential and urban areas can cause deer to become overabundant and incompatible with other societal interests. Deer-vehicle collisions, tick-associated diseases, and damage to residential landscape plantings are the primary reasons for implementing lethal management programs, often with objectives of <10 deer/km2. There are limited data demonstrating that hunting alone in suburban landscapes can reduce densities sufficiently to result in adequate conflict resolutions or a corresponding density objective for deer. We present data from 3 controlled hunting programs in New Jersey and one in Pennsylvania, USA. Annual or periodic population estimates were conducted using aerial counts and roadbased distance sampling to assess trends. Initial populations, some of which were previously subjected to regulated unorganized hunting, ranged from approximately 30-80 deer/km2. From 3 years to 10 years of traditional hunting, along with organized hunting and liberalized regulations, resulted in an estimated 17- 18 deer/km2 at each location. These projects clearly demonstrate that a reduction in local deer densities using regulated hunting can be achieved. However, the sole use of existing regulated hunting techniques in suburban areas appears insufficient to maintain deer densities <17 deer/km2 where deer are not limited by severe winter weather. Additional measures, such as sharpshooting or other strategic adjustments to regulations and policies, may be needed if long-term deer-management objectives are much below this level. © 2013 The Wildlife Society. Source


Gionfriddo J.P.,National Wildlife Research Center | Denicola A.J.,White Buffalo Inc. | Miller L.A.,National Wildlife Research Center | Fagerstone K.A.,National Wildlife Research Center
Wildlife Society Bulletin | Year: 2011

Safe and effective contraceptive agents are needed to manage overabundant populations of cervids in settings where traditional management methods such as hunting are prohibited or impractical. We used GonaCon ™ Immunocontraceptive Vaccine to reduce reproduction in individual white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) on a fully fenced corporate-office campus in suburban New Jersey, USA. In July-August 2005, we captured, marked, injected, and released 47 adult females and then monitored their reproductive performance for 2 years. Thirty-two of these females each received a 1.0-mL injection of GonaCon vaccine, and 15 control females were given sham injections. Field observations of udder condition during summers of 2006 and 2007 were used to determine which adult female deer were lactating; lactation was used as an indicator of imminent or recent parturition. During summer 2006, 8 of 24 GonaCon-treated deer were pregnant, in contrast to 12 of 13 control deer. During summer 2007, 2 years after injections were given, 13 of 23 GonaCon-treated and 10 of 12 control animals were pregnant. We also captured, vaccinated, and released fawns (both sexes) and yearling and adult males and then monitored their reproductive status. Immunocontraception of fawns was unsuccessful. In some GonaCon-treated males (all age classes), serum testosterone concentrations and development of testes and antlers were reduced. Higher anti- gonadotropinreleasing-hormone antibody titers were associated with greater infertility in females and with lower values for reproductive parameters in males. GonaCon reduced reproduction in wild adult female white-tailed deer, but greater contraceptive efficacy may be required for it to gain widespread acceptance and use by natural resource managers. © 2011 The Wildlife Society. Source


Gionfriddo J.P.,National Wildlife Research Center | Denicola A.J.,White Buffalo Inc. | Miller L.A.,National Wildlife Research Center | Fagerstone K.A.,National Wildlife Research Center
Wildlife Society Bulletin | Year: 2011

We evaluated the health effects of GonaCon ™ Immunocontraceptive Vaccine in individual white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) on a fully fenced corporate office campus in suburban New Jersey, USA. We captured and vaccinated adult females, fawns of both sexes, and yearling and adult males, and evaluated their health status through field and necropsy observations, assessment of blood chemistry, and histopathological examination of selected tissues. One 1.0-mL intramuscular injection of vaccine was delivered by hand to the hind limb of each GonaCon-treated deer. Control deer received sham injections (ad F) or no injections (yearling and ad M). Mean body-condition scores of GonaCon-treated adult females and males were greater than those of corresponding control groups. No evidence of limping or impaired mobility was noted in study deer during the 2-year study. No adverse effects of vaccination were detected in major organs, organ systems, body condition, fat deposits, or blood chemistry. Injection-site lesions (granulomatous nodules and sterile abscesses) occurred in the deep hind-limb musculature of >85% of GonaCon-treated and sham-injected deer but were not detectable externally. Reactions at injection sites and in lymph nodes were typical responses to injection of vaccines formulated as water-in-oil emulsions, especially those, like GonaCon, that contain mycobacteria. The formation of injection-site lesions may be a necessary component of the immune response that causes infertility in treated animals. Natural resource managers who use GonaCon to manage deer in settings such as developed areas and public parks will ultimately determine its value and applicability. © 2011 The Wildlife Society. Source

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