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Introduction to Fertility Control

This article is a reprint from the Science and Conservation Center

One of the major efforts of the Science and Conservation Center involves the human control of wildlife populations by means of fertility control. To that end, the Science and Conservation Center was created as a 501 (C) 3 non-profit organization that is the world’s only dedicated facility for development of wildlife contraceptives and methods of application. The Center produces and conducts quality control testing for a novel wildlife contraceptive vaccine, distributes the vaccine and is the repository for all records and data required by the appropriate regulatory agencies (FDA and EPA). The Center has the capability to monitor antibodies against the vaccine, and to remotely diagnose pregnancy and monitor ovarian function in wildlife by means of urinary and fecal steroid metabolite analysis. The latter activities originated as ancillary activities for the wildlife contraception but have now extended themselves to basic studies of reproduction in free-ranging wildlife.

The Center receives many inquiries from around the world regarding wildlife contraception, a subject that is as complicated and confusing as it is arcane. These inquiries center about many different species, diverse problems, and a variety of settings, and those inquiring have a wide breadth of understanding of the subject, from very little to quite a lot.

To complicate matters, there is a great deal of controversy some based on misunderstanding of facts and some based on social or economic objections to this approach to wildlife management. To facilitate the educational process, the Science and Conservation Center has published this overview, with the intent of providing a realistic picture of the state of the art of wildlife fertility control. To be sure, the complexity of the subject greatly exceeds the possibility of a comprehensive discussion here, but this publication can acquaint the reader with the basics to develop a realistic picture, and the bibliography and Question and Answer sections can lead the reader to a wealth of more detailed information.

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