Steven Vantassel here wildlife control consultant with another episode of living the wildlife. Today I want to talk about where you could find some helpful resources that would assist you in training your workers or training yourself even the management of various species of wild in the wildlife damage management field. In the beauty of it is it’s that it’s no additional cost. No I say no additional cost because some of these items have been paid for already by your tax dollars.
These USDA Bulletins Paid For By Tax Dollars Get The Best Return On Your Investment
It’s one of my pet peeves when people think that something that the government does and people call it free it’s not free. Americans have a really naive notion about what the government actually does and what it costs to talk about what the government does we think the government does things for free it doesn’t do things for free.
It’s paid for by taxpayers. The point is is that we treat it like it’s free even though it’s not because we don’t have to pay for it again because we’re already paying for it. And so nothing my little conservative diatribe there but I think it’s an important point whenever a politician tells you that this is free. They’re lying to you. And that needs to speak about they’re either A they’re intelligence or b their integrity or c both. In any event this particular item is part of the.
Wildlife Damage Management Technical Series by the U.S. Department of Agriculture
Let me talk about what this source of information is. It’s the wildlife damage management technical series. And it’s produced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal Plant Health Inspection Service and specifically Wildlife Services. Now if you’re not familiar with that organization or that agency Wildlife Services is a federal agency under the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And their job is to assist in the management of wildlife species that are in conflict with human interests or are threatening endangered species or are posing a potential health and disease threat. So they’re also involved in like for example protecting aircraft from bird strikes from animal strikes.
They’re involved in various forms of studies involving a zoo not Nordic diseases like rabies and they’re also controlling feral hogs and chi Oates and prairie dogs depending on what state you’re in and what they’re involved with.
Animal Rights Activists At Odds With Wildlife Control Operators
So without getting too much into some of the political side of things there a hated organization because a lot of animal rights protest groups course like to be beat up on them. And of course some of our wildlife control operators as well are not happy with Wildlife Services because some of them see wildlife services as a competitor to private industry. So they are certainly an organization under siege.
So whether you love them or hate them you should understand that a portion of wildlife service is about 10 percent of their budget. From what I understand is dedicated to research and so that is the NAF part of that is part of the National Wildlife Research Center in Fort Collins Colorado. Now they do some fine work at that at that agency.
So if you decide to hate Wildlife Services for whatever reason understand that you would if you’re going to cast a stone you might want to be more nuanced if you like the research side because that organ is that part of that agency is involved in some important research and that’s the National Wildlife Research Center and you can go to Google Scholar you can find a lot of their publications there because again as a government agency those papers that they write have to be available to the public because it’s our tax dollars at work.
So but in any event there’s some wonderful researchers there and there’s some great people within Wildlife Services. Whatever your opinion of them is that I think that it’s important for you to realize that you can find this information so let’s talk about these resources here.
Again it’s the wildlife damage management technical series will have. I’ll send Frank the link to where this is and so if you’re familiar with the prevention control the wildlife damage that’s a the last edition was the fourth edition published in 1994 and it was a two volume set the big blue books. They were as they were three ring bound. Memory serves somewhere close to six to eight hundred pages. It was called The Bible of wildlife control. But as you can tell.
Nineteen ninety four is pretty old and despite how long we’ve been waiting for the fifth edition to come out finally Wildlife Service says well we’ve waited a pretty long time so why don’t we begin the process of publishing articles and chapters of what we have.
That would be updates. And so that’s what this basically is. So we don’t call it the prevention control the wildlife damage edition 5 but in in practicality it is but it’s in progress. So there are certainly a lot of gaps here because the prevent control wildlife damage 5th edition the planning was to really step up the information and really add a lot more species and of course update all the chapters but that unfortunately hasn’t happened. So this particular site. That where you can find these chapters they’re all updated in their pretty state of the art.
Unfortunately they don’t have the breadth of the 1994 edition because it’s sort of not all the chapters have been written yet. So how do I know about this well I have two chapters already published in this group. So I was originally writing for the prevention control while at damage Fifth Edition. But like I said things kind of hadn’t gotten moved along with that. So I wanted to see those chapters see the light of day.
So I submitted them to the USDA and they were happy to have them and I have one more still in the works that I’ve got a reach out to them about. But anyways enough about me.
What can you find at this particular Web site so you can either go to the geek podcast Web site and get the link for this or you can just simply google these keywords and I’ll give them to you again the wildlife damage management technical series and you may want to add USDA to that as well and you will come to this page on the atheist’s USDA dot gov Web site and this technical series has basically four sections.
What you can find in the USDA Wildlife bulletins
Scroll to the bottom one section the one that’s populated the most is on birds and it has chapters discussing bird dispersal techniques how to handle blackbirds cedar wax wings double crested cormorants European starlings geese ducks Coots gulls Hawk snarls herons egrets Monk Parakeets mute swans sandhill and whooping cranes vultures and wild turkeys.
They also next section is mammals of which there are only two chapters and that’s beavers and musk rats reptiles and Fabian’s don’t have anything posted yet. And then finally the last section is other. And that is where you find chapters on safety wildlife at airports wildlife carcass disposal and wildlife translocation.
Now if wildlife carcass disposal sounds familiar to you. Well I did a podcast on this earlier you may want to scroll back and find that particular podcast.
But that’s also based to a large degree. If you could for a printed version of something that I’ve said this would be that chapter there the wildlife carcass disposal section will actually contain information that goes beyond what I did in my brain by podcast.
The other chapter that I’ve published here is on safety and that’s going to be a time for another podcast down the road. But you can see it’s heavily weighted in the bird area because a lot of birds is what something that wildlife service certainly handles.
But understand there will be additional chapters at least one more I’m going to submit another one to them as well as he may want to just sort of. Favorite this particular page particularly if you’re dealing with some birds some bird issues and then of course your mammals and just simply come back to it from time to time cause you these documents may will be will not May.
You want to always get in the business of helping your clients even if it’s something you don’t necessarily do on your own.
They are going to be very useful for you if you’re interested in vertebrate pest control. They they’re free to download the censors no additional cost. There’s no there’s no charge additional charge for these download their PDA files that most of them are anyways and you can print them out at will and hand them out to your workers or read them yourself or use them as a reference and certainly you be something that can be used for training in-house if you’re either dealing with hawks and owls or obviously that’s not a common species for most vertebrate pest controllers to handle but you know those odd calls do come in even if you’re not charging for the work you may want to just simply tell the customer Hey let me send you a publication and you can get some goodwill out of it. So again I think these are going to be useful and so this is in a sense a a slight advancement over the prevent you control the wildlife damage handbook.
Volume 4 Version 4 we this advances that information I hope that more of the authors that were involved in the fifth edition would make sure they contribute their chapters for this to make so we can see these this information see the light of day which should be very important because as great as the prevent control wildlife damage Handbook was it is quite dated at this point. And so a lot of the techniques have really evolved far beyond what you have there. Doesn’t mean it’s worthless it’s you know it’s available online if you want to go search for it but there we’ve really come a long way in the control I can just think of the raccoon chapter alone is incredibly outdated because the technology we now have encapsulated foot traps but so enough about that. But I just wanted to show you that this is an important source that you may not know about and it’s your tax dollars at work. You might as well get a return on your investment for that gets really solid information from people who really know a lot about particularly birth control these would be very very helpful for you to really round out this information because the peer review process for these for these publications is pretty high.
You’re dealing with people that that aren’t just armchair folks. These are folks that often butt out in the field doing the job and can tell you whether what works what doesn’t. But it also has a lot of science background because some of the information that’s contained in here was discovered based on research that was done by the National Wildlife Research Center. So again this is something that I think you will find helpful and we’ll put money in your wallet. And it’s in without it additional cost to what you’re already paying.
And I hope that that’s something that’s going to be used because there’s so much mythology in the wildlife control field it’s important that we have quality sources of information to start pushing back against so much of the mythology that’s in this industry in this particular Web site will be helpful to reducing that mythology.