As part of its activities Wildlife Services (WS) provides assistance to private and public entities, including tribes and other governmental agencies, when requested to develop programs in cooperation with “land and animal management agencies to reduce damage [caused by animals] effectively and efficiently in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws and Memorandums of Understanding . . . between WS and other agencies.” See Environmental Assessment, Mammal Damage Management in the State of New Jersey.
The agency explains the complexity of issues it addresses in these assessments:
Human/animal conflict issues are complicated by the wide range of public responses to animals and animal damage. What may be unacceptable damage to one person may be a normal cost of living with nature to someone else. The relationship in American culture of values and damage can be summarized in this way: Animals have either positive or negative values, depending on varying human perspectives and circumstances (Decker and Goff 1987). Animals are generally regarded as providing economic, recreational and aesthetic benefits, and the mere knowledge that animals exist is a positive benefit to many people. However, the activities of some animals may result in economic losses to agriculture and damage to property. Sensitivity to varying perspectives and values is required to manage the balance between human and animal needs. In addressing conflicts, managers must consider not only the needs of those directly affected by damage but a range of environmental, sociocultural and economic considerations as well.
The assessments include comprehensive data collected by the agency in cooperation with other local, state and federal agencies, described in the LIST OF TABLES:
Table 1.1 – WS’ technical assistance projects conducted in New Jersey, FY 2012 – FY 2016
Table 1.2 – NJDFW technical assistance calls conducted in New Jersey, CY 2014 – CY 2016
Table 1.3 – Mammal species WS received requests for assistance from FY 2012 – 2016 and the resource type affected by those species
Table 1.4 – Animal diseases that pose potential human health and safety risks through transmission to humans (Davidson 2006; Miller et al. 2013; Conover and Vail 2015).
Table 1.5 – Mammal species reported struck by civilian aircraft in New Jersey from 1/1/1990 – 4/30/2016
Table 1.6 – Wildlife diseases with mammalian hosts that pose threats to livestock in the United States (modified from (Miller et al. 2013)).
Table 3.1 – Number of beavers addressed in New Jersey from 2012 to 2016.
Table 3.2 – Number of eastern cottontails addressed in New Jersey from 2012 to 2016.
Table 3.3 – Number of coyotes addressed in New Jersey from 2012 to 2016.
Table 3.4 – Number of white-tailed deer addressed in New Jersey from 2012 to 2016.
Table 3.5 – Number of gray fox addressed in New Jersey from 2012 to 2016.
Table 3.6 – Number of red fox addressed in New Jersey from 2012 to 2016.
Table 3.7 – Number of muskrats addressed in New Jersey from 2012 to 2016.
Table 3.8 – Number of opossums addressed in New Jersey from 2012 to 2016.
Table 3.9 – Number of raccoons addressed in New Jersey from 2012 to 2016.
Table 3.10 – Number of striped skunks addressed in New Jersey from 2012 to 2016.
Table 3.11 – Number of feral swine addressed in New Jersey from 2012 to 2016.
Table 3.12 – Number of woodchucks addressed in New Jersey from 2012 to 2016.
Table 3.13 – Number of feral/free-ranging cats and dogs addressed in New Jersey from 2012 to 2016.
WS has recently provided similar assessments for other states. See, e.g., “Mammal Damage Management in the State of New Hampshire,” and “Mammal Damage Management in the State of Maine.”
Clearly, each assessment is tailored for the issues in each specific state or location and sets forth a series of recommendations and method available to attempt to resolve location-specific identified issues. For example, WS includes specific recommendations for beaver dam breaching/removal and a programmatic biological opinion related to Canada lynx and Atlantic salmon in New Hampshire.
A list of federally threatened and endangered species is also included in each report.
The assessments are available for review and comment on WS’ website.
“WS only conducts mammal damage management after receiving a request for assistance. Before initiating mammal damage activities, a Memorandum of Understanding, cooperative service agreement, or other comparable document must be signed between WS and the cooperating entity which lists all the methods the property owner or manager will allow to be used on property they own and/or manage.”
The agency expects to receive requests for assistance in the future related to damage or threats from black bear, beaver, white-tailed deer, feral cats and a number of other species.