Wildlife Services (WS), a unit of USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), assists in solving problems that are created when species of wildlife cause damage to agriculture. WS personnel also assist with wildlife problems involving urban or natural resources as well as threats to human health and safety.
WS is committed to the well-being of the environment and wildlife and acts as a protective buffer between wildlife and people. Failure to provide solutions to wildlife damage sometimes leads angry individuals to take actions that are ecologically and biologically damaging. Professional wildlife biologists and technicians employed by APHIS’ WS program can sometimes prevent such unwise reactions. By providing a biologically sound, economically efficient response coupled with education to individuals experiencing damage, WS benefits individuals, the public, wildlife, and the environment.
WS is a Federal cooperative program that responds to requests by persons and agencies needing help in controlling wildlife damage. Its field operations are conducted in accordance with all Federal and State guidelines and in cooperation with wildlife management professionals from Federal and/or State agencies. In all instances, WS programs are conducted to ensure no negative impact on wildlife populations.
WS helps reduce wildlife damage to:
- Agricultural crops —grain, sunflowers, vegetables, fruit, and nuts;
- Livestock —cattle, sheep, goats, swine, horses, and poultry;
- Commercial forests and forest products;
- Aquaculture —cultivated trout, catfish, bait fish, and marine shellfish and lobsters;
- Natural resources —wildlife, wildlife habitat, water quality, and rangelands;
- Urban and industrial property —private homes, public buildings, airports, golf courses, and reservoirs;
- Public health and safety —preventing bird strikes at airports and controlling wildlife-borne diseases; and
- Threatened or endangered species —such as the whooping crane, California least tern, Aleutian goose, San Joaquin kit fox, and roseate tern.