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Wildlife Services (WS)

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WS 2011 Research Needs Assessment

Research Needs

Predation
Federal respondents identified a variety of research needs involving the management of predators.  The most frequently expressed need was for a better understanding of the economics of predation (100% and 73%, respectively, of Western and Eastern Region respondents identified this as a moderate or high research need).   A preponderance of respondents in the Western Region also identified a need for research involving lethal toxicants (94%) and shooting with night vision (94%), versus 59% and 67% of respondents, respectively, in the Eastern Region.  A higher percentage of Western Region than Eastern Region respondents also indicated a moderate or high need for research involving scare devices (81% vs. 60%), traps (81% vs. 60%), trap monitors (81% vs. 50%), and aerial shooting (69% vs. 21%).


Diseases
About 70% of respondents in both the Eastern and Western regions indicated that development of wildlife-adapted field diagnostic tests was a moderate or high research need.  Improving our understanding of disease ecology and improving understanding of the economics of wildlife diseases were rated as moderate or high research needs by 80% and 81% of respondents, respectively, in the Western Region, compared to 53% and 57% of respondents in the Eastern Region.  Sixty-seven percent of Western Region respondents also rated improving our understanding of the epidemiology of wildlife diseases as a moderate or high research need, vs. 50% of respondents in the Eastern Region.  An equal percentage (53%) of respondents in both regions rated the development of improved surveillance strategies as a moderate to high research need. 


Invasive Species
Seventy-five percent of respondents from both the Eastern and Western Regions rated research on toxicants and on economics as moderate or high priority research for managing invasive species.  About 55% of respondents in the Eastern and Western Regions identified exclusion devices and repellents as areas of moderate or high research need.  Contraceptives, genetics and scare devices were, overall, lower priorities.


Birds
Ninety-four percent of respondents in the Western Region (compared to 73% of Eastern Region respondents) indicated that a better understanding of the economics of bird conflicts was a moderate to high research need.   Development and evaluation of exclusion and scare devices were moderate or high research priorities for 81-86% of respondents in both Eastern and Western Regions.  A higher proportion of respondents in the Eastern Region (77%) than in the Western Region (63%) indicated that development and/or evaluation of bird repellents was a moderate or high research need.  The development and/or evaluation of toxicants was rated as a moderate or high research need by 70% and 81% of respondents in the Eastern and Western Regions, respectively.  More than 60% of respondents in both regions indicated that development and/or evaluation of contraceptives and a better understanding of genetics were minimal research needs.


Deer
Deer research was a higher priority in the Eastern Region than in the Western Region or NWRC.  Eighty percent of Eastern Region respondents indicated that development and/or evaluation of exclusion devices was a moderate or high research need.  Similarly, 63-70% of respondents in the Eastern region indicated that economics, scare devices and repellents were areas of moderate or high research need.  Forty percent or fewer of respondents in the Western Region indicated that any of these areas was a moderate or high research need.


Rodents
Respondents in both the Eastern and Western Regions rated development and/or evaluation of toxicants was their highest rated research need involving rodents.  Sixty-three percent and 55% of respondents in the Eastern and Western Regions, respectively, identified this area as a moderate or high research need.  Sixty-three percent of respondents in the Western Region also rated economic as a moderate or high research need, compared to 46% of Eastern Region respondents.  Forty-one to 52% of respondents in both regions ranked exclusion devices and repellents as moderate or high research needs.    Overall, only 10-31% of respondents in the Eastern and Western Regions ranked contraceptives, genetics, or scare as moderate or high priority research areas. 


Reproductive Control
Overall, slightly more than half of respondents ranked contraceptives as a moderate or high research priority.  Fifty percent of respondents in the Western Region ranked each of the research areas in the graph as moderate or high research priorities.  Fifty percent of respondents in the Eastern Region indicated that economics of reproductive control was a moderate or high research priority.  Only 37% of Eastern Region respondents rated species specificity, oral delivery, or minimizing adverse effects as moderate or high priority research areas. Sixty-eight to 83% of NWRC respondents identified the four areas involving reproductive control as moderate or high research needs.


Wildlife Ecology & Population Biology
Ninety-three percent and 80%, respectively, of respondents in the Western Region indicated that developing methods to estimate demographics and determining animal movements were moderate or high research priorities, compared to 67% of respondents in the Eastern Region who ranked these two areas as research priorities.  Fifty and 60%, respectively, of respondents in the Eastern and Western regions identified spatial sampling as an area of moderate or high research need.  More than 80% of NWRC respondents ranked all four areas as moderate or high research needs.


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Last Modified: November 28, 2012