Effectiveness of Spayvac for reducing white-tailed deer fertility

J Wildl Dis. 2007 Oct;43(4):726-30. doi: 10.7589/0090-3558-43.4.726.


Overabundant white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) populations have been reported in many urban and suburban communities across the United States. Large populations of deer can potentially increase the risk of human-wildlife conflicts, such as deer-vehicle collisions, transmission of disease to humans, and vegetation damage. In 2003, efforts to control white-tailed deer numbers were initiated at the National Aeronautical and Space Agency's (NASA) Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Texas, using the long-lasting, single-dose contraceptive SpayVac. Our objectives were to evaluate the effectiveness of SpayVac for reducing white-tailed deer fertility and determine the partial cost for treatment. Between 2003 and 2004, we monitored 45 adult female deer (34 treated with SpayVac, 11 controls treated with a placebo). Fawning rate over 2 yr for deer treated with SpayVac >30 days prior to the rut was 0% (n=31), whereas the fawning rate for control deer was 78% (n=11). Inoculation 1 mo prior to the breeding season was sufficient time to achieve fertility control. We conclude that SpayVac can effectively reduce the fertility of urban white-tailed deer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Wild / physiology
  • Contraception, Immunologic / adverse effects
  • Contraception, Immunologic / methods
  • Contraception, Immunologic / veterinary*
  • Deer* / physiology
  • Female
  • Fertility / drug effects*
  • Immunization, Secondary / veterinary
  • Population Control / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vaccines, Contraceptive / administration & dosage*
  • Vaccines, Contraceptive / immunology


  • Vaccines, Contraceptive