Fertility Control in Wildlife: Review of Current Status, Including Novel and Future Technologies

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2019;1200:507-543. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-23633-5_17.


Wildlife conservation requires varying degrees of management of endangered species as well as management of their potential predators and competitors. Conservation also depends on ameliorating human-wildlife conflict, especially where there is a threat to the safety of people and of their pets and livestock. In addition, sustainability of wildlife populations can be affected by feral domestic animals or invasive species, that require removal or control. With the increasing concern for animal welfare, non-lethal methods of limiting population size and distribution, such as fertility control, are gaining favor. Breeding programs in zoos depend on highly effective and selective contraception to manage sustainable insurance populations. This review covers fertility control methods currently in use, those that have not lived up to past promises, and others that are under development and present hope for addressing remaining challenges.

Keywords: Contraception; Endangered species; Immunocontraception; Population management.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Wild / physiology*
  • Breeding
  • Conservation of Natural Resources*
  • Contraception / veterinary*
  • Fertility*
  • Population Density