A safe, effective and humane way to manage wildlife
Animal fertility control is a way to manage wildlife without killing animals or resorting to costly and dangerous roundups.
Methods include sterilization, drugs that regulate hormones, and fertility vaccines.
Several fertility vaccines have been tested in the field, most notably GonaCon, which was developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and PZP, produced by the non-profit Science and Conservation Center in Billings, Mont.
Most of the information in this document is specific to PZP, which has been used to control populations of zoo animals worldwide for 30 years. Since 1990, it's been used to manage wild horses throughout the United States.
Studies show PZP works in more than 85 different species, including urban deer, bears, water buffalo, giraffes and many more.
Unlike other wildlife management methods - such as sterilization and culling - PZP isn't permanent. Treated animals can become pregnant if they aren't re-vaccinated.
Other vaccines are effective in feral pigs and a non-vaccine contraceptive works well for managing pigeons.
While fertility control vaccines may not be the best option for managing wildlife in every situation, they offer an option that deserves consideration given their many benefits.