The complexity of wildlife damage management requires professionals to continually acquire new knowledge and skills that can be obtained through continuing education. Current literature suggests that wildlife damage management personnel are not receiving adequate training either as new professionals entering the fi eld or through continuing training as existing professionals. To better understand the continuing education needs of wildlife damage managers, we conducted a nationwide, on-line needs assessment survey for supervisory personnel of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services program (hereafter, WS). The goal of our survey was to identify gaps in continuing education and provide the basis for developing effective, appropriate, and on-going educational programs within the agency. Our survey specifically addressed the availability and importance of several topical categories, the use and desirability of different training delivery methods, and potential barriers to receiving training. Our findings indicate that human dimensions-related topics are the least available of essential training needs for WS employees. Our findings indicate that training needs for wildlife damage management professionals should be addressed at 2 levels: skills required by all personnel, such as communication skills, and skills needed by personnel on a program-specific basis, such as chemical immobilization and euthanasia. Designing training programs around this type of distinctive approach will enable employees to become better equipped for the needs of the profession, as well as their particular job function.
Tegt, Jessica L.; Jones, Phillip D.; and West, Ben C.
"A Needs Assessment for Continuing Education of Federal Wildlife Damage Management Professionals,"
Human–Wildlife Interactions: Vol. 4
, Article 15.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/hwi/vol4/iss1/15