Welcome to the Best Practices for Nuisance Wildlife Control: A Training Manual

What’s a “best practice”? It’s an effective method for solving a nuisance wildlife problem that also minimizes risks to the environment and our health and well-being. This decision-making strategy balances concerns about safety; the humane treatment of wildlife; practicality; landowner rights; the protection of wildlife populations and habitats; and ethical, legal, financial, and aesthetic issues.

This training manual has three goals:

  • to help you learn the best practices for nuisance wildlife control,
  • to guide you to useful information sources,
  • and to help you pass a state certification test so you’ll qualify for a nuisance wildlife control license.

Below is a complete list of the sections and sub-section contents of the handbook.
On the right is list of the major section headings.

Section One; Introduction

Handbook Contents | Best Practices for Wildlife Operators | How to use this Guide | Learning Objectives| New York DEC Goals | Understanding Nuisance Wildlife | The Business Side | Resources | ICWDM | Wildlife Species Information

Section Two; Needs of People and Wildlife

Handbook Contents | Learning Objectives | Definitions of Humane and Integrated Wildlife Damage Management | Six Questions NWCOs Must Ask | Resources | ICWDM | Wildlife Species Information

Section Three; Legal Issues

Handbook Contents | Legal Learning Objectives | Federal Laws and Regulations | New York State Laws | Local Regulations | NYS Endangered Species | Environmental Conservation Law | Resources | ICWDM | Wildlife Species Information

Section Four; Job Safety

Handbook Contents | Customer Risks | Safety Learning Objectives | Job Risks | Safety Gear | Wildlife Diseases | Carcass Disposal | Resources | ICWDM | Wildlife Species Information

Section Five; Best Practices

Handbook Contents | Best Practices Learning Objectives | Assess the Situation | Choose Management Options | Tools and Techniques | Preventing Problems | Evaluating Success | Resources | ICWDM | Wildlife Species Information

Section Six; Professionalism

Handbook Contents | What Professionalism Means | NWCO Professional Learning Goals | ICWDM | Wildlife Species Information


Handbook Contents


Needs of People and wildlife

  • Six Questions NWCOs must ask

Federal Laws and Regulations

Safety Risks for Customers

Best Practices for Wildlife Control

Resources for NWCOs


This manual was written as a guide to train nuisance wildlife control operators in New York State. Laws and regulations may differ in your state. Always consult local and state laws before implementing wildlife damage management activities.

Contact Information

Contact your local Extension Office


Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management
National Wildlife Control Operator’s Association
Wildlife Control


We thank the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for contributing this information.

Produced by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and the NYS Integrated Pest Management Program.