White-tailed deer may be controlled with contraceptives in suburban areas, where they are sometimes a nuisance. In parts of the United States, does are shot with darts containing a contraceptive vaccine, rendering them temporarily infertile. The Humane Society of the United States runs a deer birth control program, but it is experimental; it may not be cost-effective in the long run. It may cost $300 to $1000 per deer.
The vaccine used is porcine zona pellucida (PZP), or derivatives. This form of immunocontraception prevents sperm from accessing an ovum. Another form of deer contraception, called GonaCon, produces antibodies to sex drive hormones in the deer, causing them to lose interest in mating.
- Schuerman, M. Birth Control for Deer?. Audubon February 8, 2002.
- Barr, C. W. A Deer Contraceptive Is Turning Off the Heat. Washington Post August 19, 2004.
- Broache, A. Oh Deer! Smithsonian October 2005.
- McGrath, M. Deer 'pill' curbs aggressive mating. BBCNews September 1, 2011.
- Boyle, R. Birth Control for Animals. Popular Science March 3, 2009.
- Dalhouse, D. Squirrel contraceptive research under way. Clemson University News March 10, 2008.
- Oral Contraceptives Could Work For Dogs, Cats, Pigs, Maybe Even Deer And Coyotes. Science News February 25, 2008.
- Mooallem, J. Pigeon Wars. New York Times October 15, 2006.
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