Handling “Nuisance” Wildlife Calls

Handling “Nuisance” Wildlife Calls
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1 Module 1
Recorded on: 2022-04-13
Unit 1 Presentation Materials: Handling “Nuisance” Wildlife Calls
Unit 2 Transcript: Handling “Nuisance” Wildlife Calls
Unit 3 Workbook: Handling “Nuisance” Wildlife Calls
Unit 4 Recording: Handling “Nuisance” Wildlife Calls

Conflicts between humans and wildlife seem to be inevitable. These are often because of a lack of awareness in humans. Specialized agencies and professionals are expected to handle these conflicts on behalf of the community. Unfortunately, these individuals and organizations have finite resources and capacity, which makes responding to all calls for service a challenge. Lynsey White leads this webinar to share how community members can serve as active partners in resolving these conflicts efficiently.

Lynsey White is the Director of Humane Wildlife Conflict Resolution for The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). She also runs the Wild Neighbors program, which provides animal care and control professionals with resources, trainings, and consultation in the adoption of humane policies and practices.

Topics covered in the discussion include:

  • Animal welfare organizations’ common approaches when handling wildlife calls.
    • Dispatching officers to address the conflict.
    • Trap loan programs: How it only addresses the symptoms and negatively impact the animals, the community, other agencies, and the animal welfare/control organization itself.
    • Referring wildlife calls to a nuisance wildlife control operator (NWCO) – the process and standards involved in this approach.
    • Guiding the public to solve the wildlife conflict themselves through immediate workarounds and long-term resolutions.
  • The benefits of phone advising for the animals, the organization, the people dealing with the conflict at the moment, and the community as a whole.
  • Valuable HSUS resources that animal control agencies may refer to to provide guidance for their community members.
  • The foremost concepts to highlight when attempting to solve nuisance wildlife conflicts.
    • Intend to eliminate the problem and not the animal.
    • Eliminate attractants in the form of food and garbage that lures wildlife into “human spaces”.
    • Reduce and seal up potential denning sites in man-made infrastructures.
    • The fact that conflicts mostly result from a lack of awareness which then breeds fear.
  • Guidelines were provided on how to guide community members to handle conflicts with skunks, woodchucks, opossums, raccoons, squirrels, foxes, and coyotes.
    • Each species’ diet, abilities, mating and weaning behavior, habitat, and other preferences to inform humans on how to better co-exist with them.
    • These animals’ characteristics, frailties, and benefits to humans that may facilitate understanding and tolerance for them.
    • Defense mechanisms that animals may have when they feel threatened or encounter humans and domesticated pets.
    • Common situations that these animals find themselves where humans may come across them and how humans may safely assist animals out of these situations.
    • Effective and humane species-specific strategies and deterrents to prevent these situations and “conflicts” from occurring again.

Questions from the webinar participants are about:

  • Ensuring an animal is in a location before installing a one-way door.
  • References or list of humane operators and consultants.
  • Developing a certification for humane organizations.
  • HSUS training for wildlife rehabilitators.
  • Handling rattlesnakes.


Other Webinars with HSUS:


Or, click here to register and view other Animal Welfare webinars and recordings on the JCH website. 


Resources and Handouts


Audience Comments

  • “All the various species topics were amazing.” — Amanda
  • “Excellent instructor as an expert in her field. GREAT suggestions for persons to do on their own to reduce police responses. Thanks for the website links. Please offer this again! More people need to know this information! Thank you!” — Roseann
  • “General information about how to “self-rescue”, I take wildlife calls for my organization and any insight on how to help the animal without dispatching is good.” — Christine
  • “Everything covered was valuable! No feedback. Enjoyed the entire webinar and speaker. Love these types of topics and anything related to coexisting with wildlife. Thank you!” — Liz
  • “A huge THANK YOU for providing these webinars, which I use consistently and educate on the local Nextdoor app. I will definitely subscribe at some point to catch up on the other classes JCH offers….when my life is going to be less hectic. Please continue to offer these wonderful classes (which I also advertise on Nextdoor and several of my neighbors have attended!)” 🙂 — Nicole
  • “Additional ideas for dealing with wildlife in an urban environment.” — Mark
  • “Having the right questions to ask to dig into the root cause of the issue is very helpful. I really like the idea of empowering people to coexist with wildlife and solve issues themselves, like getting skunks out of window wells. This could save my officers a lot of time in the field if I as a dispatcher can talk them through this. I would love to see training for animal control dispatch; it’s difficult to find.” — Marlene
  • “Learned a couple of new ideas and methods of removing animals from places they are unwanted. Thank you.” — Scott





This webinar has been certified by the National Animal Care & Control Association and is approved for 1 Continuing Education Unit. Please refer to your NACA membership portal for current CEU submission process. Current NACA Members who attend the live presentation or watch the recording will be able to download a jointly issued attendance certificate that includes the National Animal Care & Control Association logo. Visit the NACA training page for a complete list of future trainings.




Founded in 1954, the Humane Society of the United States and its affiliates around the globe fight the big fights to end suffering for all animals. Together with millions of supporters, the HSUS takes on puppy mills, factory farms, trophy hunts, animal testing and other cruel industries, and together with its affiliates, rescues and provides direct care for over 100,000 animals every year. The HSUS works on reforming corporate policy, improving and enforcing laws and elevating public awareness on animal issues.




This webinar has been pre-approved by the Maine Animal Welfare Program for 1 Continuing Education Unit for the State of Maine’s ACO annual training. You can find more information about Certification, required annual training or submitting materials for credit at Maine’s Animal Control Officer Resource Page.




Additional Resources
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After the Webinar: Handling “Nuisance” Wildlife Calls. Q&A with Lynsey White
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