Cornell University Cooperative Extension
The educational outreach element of the Wildlife Damage Management Program has several key components:
- informing Extension field staff, agency professionals, homeowners, and farmers about the latest research developments from Cornell and other research institutions;
- educating Extension field staff and others in the appropriate application of new wildlife damage management technology, and ways to integrate those techniques into the entire farm operation;
- facilitating communication and networking among Cornell researchers, Cornell Cooperative Extension faculty and staff, agency professionals, and farmers in New York;
- communicating industry needs to decision- makers and non-farm stakeholders who are interested in wildlife;
- working with Extension staff and others in the appropriate application of new wildlife damage management techniques around the home; and
- working to facilitate citizen participation in decision-making regarding wildlife damage management issues.
An important aspect of an integrated and comprehensive Wildlife Damage Management Program is the coordination of activities of farmer organizations, agencies, and institutions interested in wildlife conflicts. Extension staff facilitate communication and networking among these groups.
The program participants recognize that wildlife damage management takes place in a context involving more than farmers, agency personnel, and Cornell staff. Other stakeholders have shown increasing interest in wildlife and human interactions. Increasingly communities are seeking solutions to wildlife damage problems, particularly those involving Canada geese and deer. In order to make sound decisions, citizens must first understand what viable site-specific and population management options exist. Cornell Cooperative Extension staff engage in such educational programs, which provide essential elements of a comprehensive Wildlife Damage Management Program in today’s sociopolitical environment.
Department of Natural Resources and the Environment
Cornell Cooperative Extension in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment is particularly well suited to engage in natural resources education. There are a variety of program areas to assist agencies and landowners with important management issues (see more information). We work collaboratively with extension educators from county-based Cooperative Extension Associations across New York State.
Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) field staff extend the program to benefit New York State residents and agricultural industries affected by wildlife damage. CCE staff are supported by in-service training, fact sheets, list-serves, webinars, and other materials that assist them in delivering educational programs identified as being necessary for their local situations.
Research Base: A comprehensive research approach that combines biological and human dimensions investigations forms the foundation of the wildlife damage management program. This integrated approach is essential for identifying critical wildlife problems and developing cost-effective controls and management options.
Biological Research: Currently, the research focus includes deer damage management. One research project involves studying the effects of deer management on forest regeneration. Also deer hunting and fertility control are being studied for their potential use in controlling deer populations in suburban areas. A fawn survival study is underway at Fort Drum near Watertown, NY. Other research projects include evaluating bird damage to fruit crops, and conserving state-threatened waterbirds.
Human Dimensions Research: To complement the biological studies, human dimensions research is needed. Evaluation of methods for diverse groups of stakeholders to have meaningful input into wildlife management decisions in both rural and suburban environments is a primary focus. Recent research has focused particularly on the use of citizen task forces and community-based wildlife management. In addition, the human dimensions research is examining the policy context for wildlife damage management, particularly situations where wildlife population (e.g., white-tailed deer) reduction is a probable alternative. For more information, see the Cornell Center for Conservation Social Sciences web site: https://ccss.dnr.cals.cornell.edu/
Affiliates and Collaborators
- Cornell Cooperative Extension
- Community IPM Program
- New York State Agricultural Experiment Station
- Department of Natural Resources