MIL-OSI United Kingdom: Fertility control for wildlife

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Source: United Kingdom – Executive Government & Departments

As human populations expand, conflicts between humans and wildlife increase. Efforts to resolve such conflicts have focused primarily on culling with firearms, traps and poison. But more recently, researchers have begun exploring the possibility of using contraception to manage wildlife populations.

On 17/18 June, the University of York will host the first Workshop on Wildlife Fertility Control.  The event is organised by the Botstiber Institute for Wildlife Fertility Control, and the main topic is reproductive management to mitigate human-wildlife conflicts.

Among other things, participants will discuss how fertility control could be used to manage seagulls in coastal locations, non-native grey squirrels, rats & pigeons in our towns & cities, deer and badgers, and even the growth in free-roaming ponies and wild boar.

In advance of the workshop we have invited three speakers to discuss some of the issues.  Why are human-wildlife conflicts growing?  Why are some wildlife species becoming overabundant?  What’s the evidence for the effectiveness of fertility control over traditional methods?  Where is it most effective, and how does it affect the way humans and wildlife coexist?  And how do you get a pigeon to take the pill?

Journalists came to this background briefing to hear from the scientists and put their questions to them.

Speakers included:

Prof Giovanna Massei, Europe Director of the Botstiber Institute for Wildlife Fertility Control, University of York

Prof Steve Belmain, Professor of Ecology at the University of Greenwich

Dr Marco Pellizzari, private consultant and member of the UK Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons based in Italy

MIL OSI United Kingdom