Email:  info@vtwildlifecoalition.org

Mail:    VT Wildlife Coalition

            PO Box 987

            Shelburne, VT 05482

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So-called "Nuisance Wildlife Are a Perpetual Target

The term "nuisance animals" is applied to various species including skunks, foxes, squirrels, rats, groundhogs, beavers, opossums, raccoons, bats, moles, deer, mice, coyotes, bears, ravens, woodpeckers and pigeons. The word "nuisance" is used because these species can cause damage to property. In truth, the issues is really about human-animal conflicts. Such conflicts result from the increasing incidents of human-animal interaction as human development expands and wildlife environments contract. Some of these species are protected by state or federal regulations, and a permit may be required to control some species. Wikipedia explains:

"Wildlife are usually only pests in certain situations, such as when their numbers become "excessive" in a particular area. Human-induced changes in the environment will often result in increased numbers of a species. For example, piles of scrap building material make excellent sites where rodents can nest. Food left out for household pets is often equally attractive to some wildlife species. In these situations, the wildlife have suitable food and habitat and may become a nuisance. 

In Vermont, a common response to human-animal conflict is trapping. This response is unfortunate for any numbers of reasons. It's a cruel approach; it's an unnecessary approach and it makes it very difficult to determine accurately populations numbers for certain species. The Humane Society of the U.S. in Vermont is planning to introduce a bill in the 2017 legislature to begin to address the trapping of wildlife caught in human-animal conflicts. Monitor their website for more information and visit the statehouse in Montpelier on March 1 for Humane Lobby Day.

 

The good news is that there are many viable alternatives to trapping in human-animal conflict situations. An excellent resource is to be found on the Humane Society website here. This resource on human-wildlife conflict offers an animal specific guide for what you can do.

 

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department provides their perspective on human-animal conflicts here.