Effectiveness of Spayvac for reducing white-tailed deer fertility. Academic Article uri icon


  • 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.

published proceedings

  • J Wildl Dis

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Locke, S. L., Cook, M. W., Harveson, L. A., Davis, D. S., Lopez, R. R., Silvy, N. J., & Fraker, M. A.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Locke, Shawn L||Cook, Matthew W||Harveson, Louis A||Davis, Donald S||Lopez, Roel R||Silvy, Nova J||Fraker, Mark A

publication date

  • October 2007