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The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: Perceptions of American agricultural producers about wildlife on their farms and ranches
Year: 1998
Author(s): Conover, M. R.
Source Title: Wildlife Society Bulletin
Source Type: Journal
pages: 597-604
Original Publication: http://  
Abstract: Perceptionos of U.S. agricultural producers about wildlife were examined by distributing questionnaires in 1993 and 1994 to 2,000 farmers and ranchers: 1,000 selected from a random list maintained by Survey Sampling, Inc. and 1,000 contacted through county offices of the U.S. Departmenotf Agriculture Farm Service Agency. One thousand three hundred forty-seven usable questionnaires were returned. Most respondents (51%) purposely managed for wildlife on their farm or ranch. Activities included providing cover for wildlife near fields (reported by 39% of the respondents), providing a water source (38%), leaving crop residue in the field (36%), leaving a portion of the crop unharvested (17 %), and providing salt licks(12%). In the prior year, respondents spent a mean of $223 (SE= $24) and 14 hours ( SE= 1) to help or encourage wildlife on their property. Most respondents (77%) allowed hunting on their property; 5%)charged hunters a fee. Most respondents (80%) suffered wildlife damage in the year prior to the survey, and 53% reported that damage exceeded their tolerance. Respondents spent a mean of 43.6 hours and $1,002 in the prior year trying to solve or prevent wildlife damage. Despite these efforts, 54% of respondents reported > $500 in losses annually from wildlife damage. Because their losses were so severe, 24% said they were reluctant to provide habitat for wildlife, and 38% said they would oppose the creation of a wildlife sanctuary near their property. Problems were caused most often by deer (Odocoileus spp.; listed by 53% of all respondents), raccoons (Procyon lotor; 25%), coyotes (Canis latrans; 24%), and groundhogs (Marmota spp.; 21%). Regional differences were found in wildlife enhancement practices, hunter access, and species causing problems, but not in the extent of wiIdlife damage.