Wildlife Management:

Effects of Animal Damage Control Program on Predators

RCED-90-149: Published: Aug 9, 1990. Publicly Released: Sep 11, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the effects of animal damage control (ADC) programs on several predator species to determine whether a comprehensive federal policy existed for managing predator species and whether the policy and practices were threatening predator populations.

GAO found that: (1) the federal government did not have a comprehensive policy specifically for managing predators; (2) the federal government ought to control predators in areas where they caused damage to livestock and agricultural interests; (3) ADC programs were generally consistent with legislation and guidance; (4) ADC killing of predators did not unduly threaten statewide predator populations; (5) ADC kills of predators did not significantly affect many predator populations, since operations were performed on only a small portion of most predators' habitats; and (6) ADC actions could significantly reduce predator populations in areas of heavy livestock grazing in the short term.

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