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Wildlife Damage Management
USDA - APHIS - Wildlife Damage

National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC)


Development of Injectable and Oral Contraceptive Technologies and Their Assessment for Wildlife Population and Disease Management

photo of egg yolkNicarbazin may offer a way to limit Canada goose populations. It is a compound traditionally used on broiler chickens to prevent the disease coccidiosis, but decreased egg production and hatching rates occur as side effects. It appears that one mechanism by which nicarbazin exerts its effect on reduced viability of eggs is by causing disruption of the yolk membrane, allowing the yolk and albumin to flow together and creating conditions under which the embryo cannot develop.

Bait development followed the identification of nicarbazin as a promising avian infertility agent. Any nicarbazin bait must have the following characteristics:

  • Highly palatable to Canada geese so that they continue to consume bait even when the grass “greens” in the spring, which typically coincides with the start of the breeding season
  • Able to stand up to harsh conditions, such as heat, cold, or precipitation, in the field without breaking down.
  • Right size, color, etc. to help minimize consumption by nontarget species, such as songbirds and mammals.
  • Able to reduce egg-laying but not eliminate it, as laying eggs will keep the female Canada goose incubating the nest instead of re-nesting in an area where she would not continue to consume the contraceptive bait.
  • Contain a high enough concentration of nicarbazin required to affect hatchability, even with the reduced drug absorption seen in Canada geese

OvoControl-G® is a semi-soft, wheat-based, extruded bread bait developed by Innolytics, LLC (Long Valley, NJ) . OvoControl-G® bait is now registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a reproductive inhibitor for use in Canada geese. Because nicarbazin is now registered, current work under this project primarily involves education and outreach.

Project Home Page
Project Goals and Objectives

OvoControl® for Canada Geese and Feral Pigeons
GnRH Immunocontraception (Technical Discussion)
Adjuvant Development (Technical Discussion)
Conjugate Design (Technical Discussion)



Last Modified: June 23, 2011