Conflicts between humans and wildlife in agriculture occur when wildlife activities cause losses of crop productivity, affect equipment and infrastructures, or otherwise diminish the well-being of farmers. There is a need to develop win-win solutions that address farmers’ concerns, but also ensure the conservation of wildlife communities.
Case study – Northern Pocket Gophers and Richardson’s Ground Squirrels
Problem – In Western Canada, the northern pocket gopher and the Richardson’s ground squirrel are fossorial rodents that cause major losses to producers due to their feeding and digging activities.
Concern – Both species have been the subject of extensive control campaigns which failed to control the rodent species, but destroyed the integrity of wildlife communities.
Assessment – During 2 Research & Control Programs on northern pocket gophers (1993-2005) and Richardson’s ground squirrels (2007-2010), Alpha Wildlife showed that rodenticides (anticoagulants and strychnine) failed to effectively control rodent populations and were costly to farmers.
Solution – Alpha Wildlife developed Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs that effectively address the conflicts between farmers and rodents, and maintain the integrity of wildlife communities.
Proulx, G. 2014. On the misuse of pesticides to control northern pocket gophers and Richardson’s ground squirrels in agriculture and the pressing need for sustainable solutions. Pages 134-157 in G.L. Holroyd, A.J. Trefry and B. Crockett, editors. Engaging People in Conservation Proceedings of the 10th Prairie Conservation and Endangered Species Conference February 19 to 22, 2013 – Red Deer, Alberta. Alberta Prairie Conservation Forum, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.