Author/s: Wywialowski A.P. 1999.

Title: Wildlife-caused losses for producers of channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus in 1996.


Abstract: The National Agricultural Statistics Service surveyed by telephone and mail in January and February 1997 all known producers of channel catfish Ictalu rus punctatus to acquire current information about wildlife-caused losses i n calendar year 1996. Many producers tried to prevent wildlife-caused losse s of their catfish by shooting (57%), vehicle patrol (55%), or frightening (36%), at an estimated cost of >$5 million. Yet, 69% of catfish producers c ited some wildlife-caused losses. Birds were most frequently cited as a cau se of losses, and double-crested cormorants Phalacrocorax auritus was the s pecies cited most frequently (53%). The next most frequently cited birds we re herons Ardea spp. (48%), egrets Egretta spp. (16%), and pelicans Pelecan us spp. (8%). Muskrats Ondatra zibethicus were cited by 10% of producers, p rimarily for damaging dikes and roads. The main problems caused by wildlife were feeding on catfish (67%), injuring catfish (40%) or disturbing feedin g patterns of the catfish (23%). The total estimated cost of losses was $12 million. Overall, wildlife damage and damage prevention may have cost catf ish producers >$17 million, about 4% of the total $425 million of catfish s ales in 1996. Of the 44% of all catfish producers who were familiar with Wi ldlife Services (WS), 51% had ever contacted WS for assistance, 55% used me thods suggested by WS to reduce their losses, and 40% received direct assis tance from WS in 1996. Mississippi producers, who most frequently received direct assistance from WS, had proportionately lower wildlife-caused losses .

Address: Wywialowski A.P., Anim & Plant Hlth Inspect Serv, Risk Anal Syst, Unit 117, USDA, Riverdale,MD 20737 USA Anim & Plant Hlth Inspect Serv Riverdale MD USA 20737 USA


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