One Shields Ave, UC Davis
1069 Academic Surge
Davis, CA 95616
Many wildlife species, such as pocket gophers, ground squirrels, voles, and numerous bird species, can cause extensive damage to agricultural crops through loss of fruit or nuts, chewing of roots, girdling of trunks and stems, and loss of irrigation water down burrows. These pests can also spread disease to livestock and humans; can physically attack humans and damage infrastructure; and if invasive, can outcompete native fauna potentially leading to extinction of native species. Ideally some combination of habitat modification, exclusion, repellents, and lethal methods (e.g., trapping, toxic baiting, burrow fumigation, etc.) can be used to effectively control these pests to maintain highly productive agricultural systems, as well as maintain healthy wildlife populations and ecosystems. Therefore, my research focuses on these wildlife pest issues as they pertain to agriculture and natural areas with a special focus on integrated methods for controlling these pests. Current research projects include:
- Determining and demonstrating effective trapping strategies for gophers to promote trapping as part of an IPM approach.
- Comparing multiple approaches for controlling gophers in vineyards.
- Fumigation of ground squirrels revisited: can a combination of gas cartridges and aluminum phosphide increase effectiveness of fumigation?
- Assessing vertebrate pest "research needs" for California.
I also have extensive experience working with a variety of predator and big game species including black bears, American martens, coyotes, elk, oryx, raccoons, Virginia opossums, and striped skunks. Previous predator and big game projects have included:
- Assessing population demographics, habitat utilization, critical habitats, and condition of black bears in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.
- Assessing the distribution, occupancy, and habitat correlates of American martens in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.
- Assessing food habits of coyotes in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.
- Assessing multiscale habitat associations and habitat-condition relationships of elk in a desert grass/shrubland in northwestern New Mexico.
- Assessing habitat use of oryx on White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.
- Determining the influence of microhabitat variables on occurrence of raccoons, Virginia opossums, and striped skunks in western Tennessee.
- Determining the effect of precipitation covers on scent station visitation by mammalian carnivores on Fort Riley Military Instillation, Kansas.
Much information is currently available to assist with wildlife pest problems. I’ve listed a number of websites below that may be of use when dealing with such situations.
UC IPM Pest Notes.—Valuable resource for information pertaining to many wildlife pest issues for California. http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/menu.vertebrate.html
UCCE Vertebrate Pest Control Education Videos.—Superb resource for all aspects related to California ground squirrels, pocket gophers, and meadow voles. http://cesandiego.ucanr.edu/Agricultural_Resources/Vertebrate_Pest_Control/
California Department of Pesticide Regulation Endangered Species Query.—Allows the applicator or landowner to determine if any endangered species are found at a location where pesticides are to be used. Simply add information to query to determine if any endangered species are present and need to be considered before applying the pesticide of interest.
The Vertebrate Pest Control Handbook.—Contains extensive information on many subjects pertaining to wildlife pests in California including information on general biology of California birds and mammals, laws and regulations, the role of wildlife in spreading disease, and information on the use of toxicants and fumigants for controlling wildlife pests in California. http://www.vpcrac.org/about/vertebrate-pest-handbook/
Internet Center for Wildlife Damage and Management.—Contains extensive information on wildlife pest control, although it is designed for the entire U.S., not just California. Therefore, other websites may provide more specific information for California. Nonetheless, it is a valuable resource. http://icwdm.org/
Extension.—Similar to the ICWDM website listed above. Excellent resource, but provides information for all of the U.S. http://www.extension.org/
DisciplineVertebrate Pest Management
SpecialtyWildlife Damage and Pest Management
Areas of Expertise (click to see all ANR academics with this expertise)
- Ag Commodities and Products - General
- Plants and Their Systems
- Vertebrates, Mollusks, and Other (Non Arthropod, Pathogen, Nematode, Weed) Pests
- Integrated Pest Management Systems
- Natural Resources and Environment
- Aquatic and Terrestrial Wildlife
- Baldwin, R. A.; Bender, L. C. (2008). "Distribution, occupancy, and habitat correlates of American martens (." 89: 419-427.
- Baldwin, R. A.; Houston, A. E. (2006). "Predicting raccoon (." 120: 225-231.
- Baldwin, R. A.; Houston, A. E. (2004). "An assessment of microhabitat variables and capture success of striped skunks (." 85: 1068-1076.