Cultural Control

Cultural Methods to Manage Wildlife Damage

This page contains resources on the use of cultural control methods to mitigate wildlife damage problems.

Cultural Control Methods Defined

Cultural Control encompasses those practices which modify the habitat or change the access for the offending animals while not physically or chemically preventing their access to the property or physically harming the animal.

For example, modifying a bird feeder so as to stop squirrels from feeding on it is an excellent example of exclusion or habitat modification. In contrast, cleaning up fallen bird seed would be an example of a cultural control method because your effort is reducing food availability to non-target animals while not physically excluding them from the area.

The Limits of Cultural Control

1. Cultural Control Practices are rarely a quick fix because the offending animals don’t just disappear. However, over the long term, cultural practices are exceptionally cost effictive in mitigating damage.

2. Cultural Control Practices require landowners to change their behavior. You may be forced to make unwanted decisions such as removing a beloved tree or changing the timing of your activity.

3. Cultural Control Practices rarely resolve an animal damage problem completely. The key word here is mitigate as in reduce rather than eliminate. We hope, however, that you will find this information helpful in making more informed and responsible wildlife damage management decisions.

Informational Resources for Cultural Control Methods

General Information

Most University and Government animal damage control publications will include cultural control method information as a section within the entire publication.

Species Specific Information

If you have a specific species in mind that you wish to control, visit Species

Specific Cultural Control Method Information

Guard Animals Guard animals are used to protect livestock from predation by coyotes. However, research is being done to use guard animals to protect crops from deer as well, including dogs, llamas, donkeys, etc.