Skip to main content
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
USDA FAQ's and resources about coronavirus (COVID-19).  LEARN MORE

Wildlife Services Provides People with Technical and Operational Assistance

WS answers the public's calls for assistance.Technical Assistance may include providing advice, information, recommendations, and materials to the requestors for use in resolving wildlife-caused damage. WS offices around the nation provide general wildlife information and specific management recommendations and advice to people experiencing wildlife damage problems. Although most technical assistance is provided via mailings and telephone consultations with the public, it may also include demonstrations on the proper identification of species and their damage, and use of methods, as well as presentations about techniques and requirements.

Additionally, many of Wildlife Services' technical recommendations can be accessed electronically via the Program's website (Program Data, Reports, Publications). Technical assistance is routinely delivered by WS to resource owners, groups of interested members of the public, and agency/professional colleagues. Wildlife Services provides the public with an annual accounting of technical assistance activities conducted by WS for requestors with wildlife damage problems.

Technical assistance can take the form of a written/ telephone consultation, a personal consultation, a site visit, a telephone hot line discussion, an instructional session, a media interaction, and other types of activities.

Direct management assistance to remove a beaver damOperational Damage Management Assistance occurs when WS provides personnel, equipment, and supplies to actually conduct the management action, and it consists of both preventative and corrective measures. WS offices around the nation provide operational damage management assistance upon request which is based on an integrated wildlife damage management approach. Operational damage management assistance is initiated when the problem cannot effectively be resolved through technical assistance and when a signed written agreement is established between WS and the program recipient (cooperator).

WS operational damage management efforts primarily involve application of site-specific, hands-on wildlife management methods and approaches that are difficult for the public to implement or that involve public safety concerns. Typically, operational damage management includes a combination of preventative and corrective actions that are implemented by the requestor and WS personnel.

WS direct management activities typically contain elements from all three approaches: wildlife management, exclusion, and resource management. Wildlife management is conducted by Program personnel under authorities and agreements with State and Federal agencies, landowners, and others, and may include handling the animals associated with the damage problem. WS provides an annual accounting of the species and number of animals handled throughout each year for its operational damage management programs. Information on the WS operational damage management programs is available to the public for the entire nation or for each state separately.

Complementary Content