Winter 2019
FEATURED NEWS: BIWFC Hosts Free-Roaming Horse & Burro Fertility Control Workshop
In an effort to promote and advance alternative methods to manage free-roaming horse and burro populations in western landscapes, the Botstiber Institute for Wildlife Fertility Control hosted the Free‐Roaming Horse and Burro Fertility Control Workshop in Albuquerque, New Mexico on November 8, 2018.
The workshop convened many leaders in the horse and burro fertility control field, including federal, state and tribal government personnel, horse and burro fertility control professionals and researchers. The presentations were informative, comprehensive and, most importantly, confronted the issues, possibilities and problems at hand.  The workshop also showed that there is on-going work on several fronts to advance research and improve methods and products. Nearly 60 participants from across the US were in attendance for this event.
Cheryl Asa, chair of the AZA Reproductive Management Center Advisory Board, opened the workshop with her presentation Fertility Control for Wild Horse and Burro Management:  Are We There Yet?  Dr. Asa was followed by nearly a dozen speakers including:
  • Dan Baker, Colorado State University, Reimmunization Increases Contraceptive Effectiveness of GonaCon- Equine Vaccine in Free-Ranging Horses
  • Jason Bruemmer, Colorado State University, The Effect of Immunization Against Oocyte Specific Growth Factors in Mares 
  • Anthony DeNicola, White Buffalo, Inc., Application of Ungulate Research and Management Experience to Wild Horse and Burro Management
  • Stefan Ekernas, U.S. Geological Survey, State of the Art Tools for Surveying Horse Populations and Modeling Fertility Control
  • Kim Frank, The Science and Conservation Center, Managing Wild Horse Herds 
  • Kayla Grams, The Science and Conservation Center, Field Documentation and Monitoring
  • Karen Herman, Sky Mountain Wild Horse Sanctuary, Translating Science, Field Experience, and Collaboration into On Range Fertility Control Treatment
  • Jenny Powers, National Park Service, Biological Resources Division, Wildlife Health Branch, Remote Delivery of GonaCon Equine to Feral Horses (Equus caballus) Using Protype Syringe Darts
  • Allen Rutberg, Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Managing Wild Horses with PZP
  • John Turner, University of Toledo College of Medicine, PZP-22 Contraceptive Vaccine: New Developments, Quality Control and Future Applications and Non-surgical Sterilization of Mares: A 3-Year Preliminary Study
Click HERE to view the speaker's presentations & videos.
State of the Field Webinar: Wildlife Fertility Control to Mitigate Human-Wildlife Conflicts
The BIWFC hosted a State of the Field webinar which provided an overview of major advances in the field of wildlife fertility control over the last ten years. Presenter Stephanie Boyles Griffin, BIWFC Science and Policy Director, explored the challenges that remain and ongoing efforts by researchers, wildlife managers, policy-makers and communities. The webinar is available online as well as follow-up questions and answers.
TWS Conference & Pathways Europe
The BIWFC hosted an exhibit and reception at The Wildlife Society’s 25th Annual Conference in Cleveland. The conference took place in the Huntington Convention Center and included more than 1,600 attendees. In addition, two BIWFC Advisory Board members and an urban deer fertility control researcher presented papers during the conference.
The BIWFC's Science and Policy Director and an Advisory Board member also presented at Pathways 2018 in Germany. This conference brought together scientists, practitioners, and stakeholders from 39 countries to discuss the human dimensions of wildlife management and conservation.
BIWFC now on Social Media
In addition to our website, you can now learn more about The BIWFC on social media by following our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Pennsylvania Urban Deer Conflict Management Seminar Series, Spring 2019
The BIWFC will launch a seminar series taking place in various areas throughout Pennsylvania to educate the public on urban deer conflict management planning. Speakers will present a comprehensive framework that communities can use for developing and implementing effective, sustainable urban and suburban deer conflict mitigation plans and programs. Check our events webpage for details and updates as they become available.
International Urban Wildlife Conference, June 2-5, 2019
The BIWFC will exhibit at the International Urban Wildlife Conference in Portland, Oregon. Hosted by the Urban Wildlife Working Group of The Wildlife Society, this conference focuses on critical urban wildlife issues.
BIWFC's grant program supports projects that advance wildlife fertility control science, policy and its applications. In each newsletter we plan to spotlight a recipient of our Grant Program. 

Meet BIFWC Grantee Laurie Briggs, Co-Director, Treasurer, & Development Director of CliftonDeer.Org
Will you provide some background on what is being experienced with the urban deer populations in Ohio?
Ohio’s is probably a similar story to many other states and communities. Without natural predators and with a supply of food from urban gardens and parks, deer have adapted well to urban environments, and herd sizes can grow quickly. (In our Neighborhood of Clifton, for example, the Cincinnati Parks measured a 30% increase in the population in the year before our program began). The resulting human-wildlife conflict is driving massive lethal – and often inhumane and ineffective – efforts to reduce herd sizes in Ohio and nationwide.
How is this issue currently addressed?
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), like many other state wildlife agencies, promotes sport hunting and regulates the allowable “harvesting” to manage herd sizes in rural areas. However, hunting is not permitted in many urban areas, including most of Cincinnati. In 2007, the Cincinnati Park Board began a deer management program in selected city parks (initially using police sharpshooters, but for budget reasons then switching to volunteer bow hunters). Between Fall 2007 and Winter 2017, 1,354 deer were reportedly killed in 10 city parks, with 919 of those killed by bow.
In 2014, the Park Board announced that bow hunting would be extended to several additional city parks, including three in the Clifton Neighborhood. Many Clifton residents, including the founders of, objected to the plan, and in response, the Park Board agreed to suspend bow hunting in the three Clifton Parks and to collaborate with Clifton residents on the development of a pilot non-lethal alternative. Our program was approved by the Park Board in February 2015 as a 5-year pilot study, and ODNR is allowing the program to operate under a research permit. We operate in a ~1 square mile study area comprised of the Clifton Parks and surrounding neighborhood, and started with a herd size of approximately 100 deer.
What is the goal of your project, including the volunteer training?
The motivation and goal of the program founders is to contribute to the holistic health of the community by preventing the unnecessary suffering and sometimes terrifying death of deer in our small urban parks, while also working to humanely reduce the deer population in order to minimize deer-human conflicts.
The primary objective of the study is to assess the cost, feasibility, and population impacts of a white-tailed deer capture and sterilization project in a densely developed urban community. Ultimately, the goal is to determine the lowest deer density that can be achieved with only non-lethal management techniques given potential immigration effects.
A secondary objective is to assess the feasibility of training local volunteers to conduct capture and surgical operations with minimal professional consultant staffing. This is more than a simple academic exercise for us; the long-term sustainability of the program (and our ability to potentially expand it to include other communities) rests on our ability to reduce our costs to a locally sustainable level.
What are the results so far?
Our January 2018 population survey documented that, in the 25 months following the sterilization of the first doe in our Program, we have sterilized ~91% of the adult doe population in the study area and that the total number of deer in the study area had decreased by approximately 19%. Community acceptance and involvement is growing, and thanks to grants received to support our training efforts (including a
generous grant from the Botstiber Institute for Wildlife Fertility Control), several local veterinarians, a registered vet tech, and a capture specialist/darter are participating in our training program as volunteers.
What are the next steps?
First, we hope to treat enough of the remaining does to achieve our target 95% sterilization rate. By sterilizing this critical mass of the females in a deer herd, herd growth through fawning, which can exceed 25% per year for urban deer, should dramatically decline and the deer population will be stabilized (i.e., the primary additions to the population will be through immigration, not births). Thereafter, we anticipate the population will gradually shrink through natural attrition.
Second, with an eye toward the long-term viability of the Program, we are attempting through our training program to transition to greater local self-sufficiency.
Third, we are continuing collection and analysis of empirical data on migration patterns and changes in population levels through field observations and a post-operations camera survey. With an additional year of data, we will be able to answer with more assurance the all-important question of how effective fertility control can be as a non-lethal tool for reducing overabundant deer herds in open urban settings to an eco-sustainable level.
And finally, an informal study of browsing impact on native plant species and forest regeneration is underway to help determine what an ecologically sustainable herd size might be for our neighborhood.
How do you plan to use these results?
We hope our program can serve as a model for other communities as they grapple with human-wildlife conflicts.

More information about the BIWFC Grant Program can be found on our website .
OvoControl to Reduce Zoonoses at Texas Tech
To quell the financial burden of cleaning up pigeon feces and to reduce the spread of diseases, Texas Tech began a project two years ago to reduce the pigeon population using OvoControl. The Daily Toreador noted t here has been a 10% reduction in pigeons, but the goal is to reduce the population by 50-60%.
Kenyan Women take Matters into their Own Hands
The monkey population in the Lari constituency of Kenya have been eating crops, destroying farms, and even harassing the women. The Star reported that Kenya Wildlife Services attempted to trap and remove the monkeys, with no success. As a last resort, the women plan to feed birth control pills to the monkeys.
Promising Results from Using GonaCon to Manage Wild Horses
After administering booster vaccines of GonaCon to mares in Theodore Roosevelt National Park in 2013, Colorado State University researchers have found results of 85-100% infertility for four years. explained the significance of this study and the long-term implications.
Update on Hastings-on-Hudson's Deer Contraception Program
The Hastings-on-Hudson deer contraception program, launched in 2014, has shown promising results. Lohud reports that a more accurate deer count will be done within the next year. The program has become a community-wide effort.
Click here to view more articles
Stephanie Boyles Griffin - Science and Policy Director
Monique Principi - Managing Director
Rachel Soroka - Program Assistant
Rosalie Lombardo - Communications Officer
Elizabeth Leitzell - Digital Media Specialist
Carolyn Rauch - Senior Meeting Specialist
For more information, please visit our website