For Immediate Release
Lee Walker, (804) 912-6121
New Virginia Wildlife Conflict Helpline
The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) is pleased to announce a new Virginia Wildlife Conflict Helpline, a resource for resolving human-wildlife conflicts. The helpline is a collaborative effort between the VDGIF and the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Wildlife Services (WS) to address human-wildlife interactions by sharing science-based wildlife information. The helpline is available toll-free at (855) 571-9003, 8:00AM-4:30PM, Monday through Friday.
Techniques recommended to the public are environmentally sound, safe, and selective and meet wildlife professionals' standards. Individuals are helped with "do-it-yourself" instructions and are provided with the necessary information and literature, referred to websites when appropriate, or directed to other sources of assistance. In those instances where more specific technical assistance is needed, callers are linked up with subject matter experts.
Helpline activities are conducted in cooperation with VDGIF in accordance with WS Policy Guidelines and federal, state, and county laws, regulations and policies. The Farm Bureau of Virginia, Virginia State University, and Virginia Tech Extension are partners assisting in the development of outreach and educational materials from information and data gathered from the helpline.
The development of the helpline resulted from the expansion of suburban development into rural Virginia, and significant human population growth topping 28 percent over the past 20 years. These trends have created more interactions between humans and wildlife; many, leading to negative consequences. Concerned citizens seeking information and assistance related to human-wildlife interactions now have to go no further than their telephone for technical information and assistance.