Post Content

Snowy-Owl_MassWildlife_Bill-Byrne_0096

In Massachusetts, nearly 6 million people share 5 million acres with native wildlife. From geese and turkey to moose and bears, many animals have adapted and moved into suburbs and even urban areas, so it can be surprising to see some of these creatures in residential areas. As residents and visitors enjoy the outdoors in their neighborhoods, playgrounds, and conservation lands, it is inevitable that there will be unexpected encounters between people and wildlife. It is important to know what to do and how to prevent potential conflict to keep yourself, your family, and your pet safe, and the wild creatures who are our neighbors wild and wary of people.

  1. Eliminate food and shelter that attracts wildlife.  Squirrels, raccoons, and foxes are commonly found near homes, yards, and neighborhoods because they’re drawn to areas where there is an abundant supply of food and shelter.
      • Make sure garbage, compost, and pet food are stored securely.
      • Don’t fill or use birdfeeders during the warm months as the wildlife that visits attracts even more wildlife.
      • Erect fencing, or netting to discourage wildlife from your vegetable garden.
      • Block access to attics, chimneys, or crawl spaces under decks and sheds that can be used as shelter.
  2. Never relocate wildlife, even if you believe it is for the best of the animal. Doing so can result in unintended consequences that affect both wildlife and people. In addition to a Massachusetts law that prohibits the capture and relocation of wildlife, there are other very important reasons to avoid moving animals:
      • The animal may try to return to its original location and be killed or injured in the process. A relocated animal may also have difficulty finding food, water, or shelter in an unfamiliar area. Wildlife that already inhabit the area do not welcome newcomers and will harass the interloper, causing stress,  injury or even death for the relocated animal.
      • If a relocated animal is carrying a disease, it can spread that disease to new, unexposed wildlife populations.
      • Moving an animal simply transfers the problem elsewhere. Additionally, if the area where an animal was moved from is attractive, another of its kind will likely soon move in.
  3. If you find a sick or injured wild animal, do not try to care for the animal yourself. Instead, if it is not exhibiting signs of rabies, locate a licensed wildlife rehabilitator who can provide the necessary advice on how to safely handle the animal. You can bring it to them for care with the ultimate goal of releasing the animal back into the wild.

Sharing our great state with so many different kinds of wildlife makes Massachusetts a beautiful place to live, work, or visit. Knowing how to keep wild things wild helps preserve that natural beauty now and for future generations.

Written By:

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Recent Posts

Childhood Vaccination Schedule and Requirements in Massachusetts posted on Apr 17

Childhood Vaccination Schedule and Requirements in Massachusetts

Massachusetts was among the first places in the world to eliminate smallpox through the use of vaccines, according to the state’s Bureau of Infectious Disease Prevention, Response, and Services. With this precedent in mind, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (HHS) created   …Continue Reading Childhood Vaccination Schedule and Requirements in Massachusetts

How to Delay or Prevent Type 2 Diabetes posted on Apr 15

How to Delay or Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 to 95 percent of cases of diabetes, in which blood sugar (glucose) levels are too high, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The good news is that type 2 diabetes can be prevented, even among people   …Continue Reading How to Delay or Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

The 2015 Boston Marathon Spectator Guidelines posted on Apr 13

The 2015 Boston Marathon Spectator Guidelines

This is a guest blog post from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA). The 119th running of the Boston Marathon will be held on Patriot’s Day, Monday, April 20, 2015. This year, 30,000 registered participants will run the 26.2-mile course, which starts in Hopkinton and passes   …Continue Reading The 2015 Boston Marathon Spectator Guidelines