image description
Baby skunks are cute but shouldn't be handled.

Vermont Wildlife Offers Tips on Dealing With Wild Babies

Print Story | Email Story
MONTPELIER, Vt. — Watching wildlife is enjoyable, especially when young animals appear in the spring. But it is best to keep your distance. Picking up young wildlife can do more harm than good, according to the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, and it is also against the law.
 
When people see young animals alone, they often mistakenly assume these animals are helpless or lost, in trouble or needing to be rescued. Bringing young wildlife into a human environment often results in permanent separation from their mothers and a sad ending for the animal.
 
Handling wildlife could also pose a threat to the people involved. Wild animals can transmit disease and angry wildlife mothers can pose significant dangers. 
 
Department scientists encourage wildlife watchers to respect the behavior of animals in the spring and early summer, and to resist the urge to assist wildlife in ways that may be harmful. Here are some helpful tips:

Deer and moose nurse their young at different times during the day, and often leave young alone for long periods of time. These animals are not lost. Their mother knows where they are and will return.

• Young birds on the ground may have left their nest, but their parents will still feed them.

• Young animals such as fox and raccoon will often follow their mother. The mother of a wildlife youngster is usually nearby but just out of sight to a person happening upon it. 

• Animals that act sick can carry rabies, parasites or other harmful diseases. Do not handle them. Even though they do not show symptoms, healthy-looking raccoons, foxes, skunks, and bats may also be carriers of the deadly rabies virus. 

• Many wildlife species will not feed or care for their young when people are close by. Obey signs that restrict access to wildlife nesting areas, including hiking trails that may be temporarily closed. 

• Keep domestic pets indoors, leashed or fenced in. Dogs and cats kill many baby animals each year. 

• Avoid projects that remove trees, shrubs and dead snags that contain nests during the spring and summer. 

For information about rabies and wildlife conflicts, or truly orphaned wildlife (i.e. the adult has been hit by a car) call the Vermont Rabies Hotline at 1-800-4RABIES (1-800-472-2437) or, in Massachusetts, call your animal inspector or animal control officer.
 
For the safety of all wildlife, taking a wild animal into captivity is illegal, even one you suspect is sick, injured or has been abandoned. 

Tags: wildlife,   

0 Comments
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to info@iberkshires.com.

Vermont Fish & Wildlife: Pollinators in Peril

Community Submission
MONTPELIER, Vt. — Many of Vermont's pollinator species are in peril, and the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department would like to share a few simple suggestions to greatly benefit our essential pollinator species.
 
"The majority of our flowering plants need pollinators in order to produce seeds," said Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department zoologist Mark Ferguson. "Vermont is home to hundreds of species of pollinators from bees to butterflies to beetles and other bugs that play a vital role in pollinating our flowers, trees and food crops. These insects are responsible for pollinating 60 to 80 percent of Vermont's wild plants and play a critical role in the propagation of fruits and vegetables in gardens, wild berry patches, commercial berry farms, and apple orchards." 
 
But many pollinator species in Vermont are in trouble. Habitat loss, invasive species, single-crop farming, disease, and pesticides are a few of the threats affecting populations of these insects across our state. Vermont's native bees, including more than 300 unique species and three that are threatened or endangered, are among our pollinators being impacted the most. 
 
A recent examination of our 17 different bumble bees compared recent observations with historical collections and concluded that several species have drastically declined or disappeared from Vermont, including the rusty-patched bumble bee. 
View Full Story

More Vermont Stories