Wildlife population control – reproductive physiology under the influence of contraceptive methods in mammalian wildlife, with emphasis on immunocontraception: the best choice? A literature review
Keywords:Wildlife population control, Human-wildlife conflicts, Mammals, Reversible immunocontraceptives
Human-wildlife conflicts, a growing and sad reality worldwide, makes population control of wildlife and feral animals one of the biggest challenges in wildlife management, especially due to the rapidly expanding human population, and consequently the ever-diminishing natural habitats of animals. Human activities and the destruction of nature forcing wildlife to move inevitably into urban and agricultural areas, causing “conflicts”, such as the risk of zoonosis and traffic accidents, as well as damage to crops in the search for food, whose losses reach millions of dollars. For decades, science has been engaged in extensive efforts to develop methods of “humane” population control methods, and many techniques are being employed in order to control wildlife population. In this article, we present an overview of applied contraceptive methods with simplified graphic demonstrations of their interactions with reproductive physiology, furthermore relating pro and contra of utilized antifertility agents. These are being compared to a set of desired characteristics for free-ranging wildlife for in-field applications, with emphasis on reversible immunocontraception – concluding, therefore, the reasons why this concept is becoming the most appropriate and promising for free-ranging wildlife.
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