The relationship between humans and wild animals is a complex one. People adore some wild animals and hate others. Humans and other animals have differing agendas and conflicts are resolved in very different ways. For example, the Michigan kill list of “nuisance” animals has recently been expanded.
The Michigan Natural Resources Commission recently approved an expansion of the list. The commission also clarified the rules regulating home and property owners. Previously the list included woodchucks, skunks, raccoons and coyotes. They were unprotected if they were “doing or about to do damage.”
The commission is part of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
The NRC website says:
“The Natural Resources Commission is a seven-member public body whose members are appointed by the Governor. The Commission has exclusive authority to regulate the taking of game and sportfish, and is authorized to designate game species and authorize the establishment of the first open season for animals through the issuance of orders.
The NRC conducts monthly, public meetings in locations throughout Michigan. Citizens are encouraged to become actively involved in these public forums.”
The new revision of the Michigan kill list adds beavers, rabbits, squirrels (four types), muskrats, opossums, and weasels. The animal in question must be “physically present where it can imminently cause damage.” This apparently rules out indiscriminate poisoning.
The agency defines damage according to ClickOnDetroit:
“The amendment also defines “damage” as “physical harm to forest products; roads; dams; buildings; orchards; apiaries; livestock; and horticultural or agricultural crops. Beaver or muskrat are only considered to be doing damage if their activities result in flooding or culvert blockages that cause damage as defined in this section.” “
Most of the “nuisance” animals on the list are not in extinction dangers Beavers (Castor canadensis) have been seriously depleted worldwide but are making a comeback in the United States. They are protected in some areas. Beavers are also being reintroduced in the British Isles. Coyotes (Canis latrans) are abundant nationwide. They are expanding their range in America. There are an estimated 5 million in the country. They are moving into cities and killing domestic animals
Many of the animals on the list are actually increasing in numbers. Large predators cannot come into cities so these prey species move closer to humans. Our garbage, fruit trees, gardens, pet food and even each other attract them. Controlling our garbage and being clean are key steps in maintaining a “nuisance” animal free environment. Frugal landscaping that reduces attractive growth is also a major plus.