Preventing Wildlife Conflicts
Many of North Carolina's wildlife species thrive around people. There are a variety of effective techniques that help ensure most interactions between wildlife and people are positive ones. Follow the general tips below to prevent and alleviate conflicts with wildlife. Keep in mind that wild animals are looking for food, water, shelter and safety. If a wild animal is regularly visiting your property and you want it to stop, removing the animal's access to one or more of those resources can make the area much less attractive.
No. When setting a trap, it is your responsibility to not only follow all trapping rules and regulations but also be prepared to handle any animals that you trap. It is the responsibility of the trapper to visit traps daily and remove any captured animal(s). Most wildlife species cannot be relocated. Due to 15A NCAC 10B .0106, wild animals in the order Carnivora, armadillos, groundhogs, nutria, and beaver trapped under depredation circumstances shall be humanly euthanized at the site of capture or at a facility. If you do not want to release the animal yourself, a Wildlife Control Agent can be hired.
Property owners are responsible for disposing of dead animals on their property. The animal can be buried or left to decompose naturally. Some cities/counties offer a curbside pick-up service. DOT may remove dead animals on state-maintained roadways if causing traffic concerns. Wildlife Control Agents can be hired to remove dead animals, however not all agents offer this service.
It is illegal to relocate many wildlife species in North Carolina, including those in the order Carnivora (e.g., coyotes, foxes, raccoons, skunks, bears, bobcats, mink, weasels, and otter), armadillos, groundhogs, nutria, and beaver. When these species have been trapped for depredation reasons (causing property damage), they must either be humanely euthanized or released on the same property they were captured (15A NCAC 10B .0106). Feral swine must be euthanized while still in the trap, in accordance with G.S. 113-291.12. For species not listed above, captured individuals can either be euthanized, released where they were captured, or released on private property with permission from the property's owner. It is illegal to release wildlife on public lands, including but not limited to game lands, parks, wildlife preserves, and roadsides.
Importantly, relocation is not considered to be an environmentally responsible or humane method of resolving wildlife conflicts for the following reasons:
The best way to protect pets from wild animals is by closely supervising them when they're outside. Dogs should be kept on a leash or inside a dog-proof fence (at least 6 feet tall with barrier to prevent digging under). Toy breed dogs are especially vulnerable; they should be kept on a short leash and never left outside without supervision, especially at dawn and dusk. Cats should never be allowed to freely roam outside.
Leaving out food for wild animals, while seemingly benign, can contribute a variety of harmful outcomes including the spread of disease, overpopulation, and preventable conflicts between people and wildlife. Fed wildlife can lose their natural, healthy fear of people, putting them at risk and leading, in some cases, to aggressive behavior that can put people at risk. The best way to help wildlife is to manage your property using native plants that feed and provide shelter for wild animals naturally.
Hazards of Feeding Wildlife (PDF)
Attract Birds, Not Bears (PDF)
Native Plants for Birds
Common Wildlife Diseases
Hazards of Feeding Wildlife (PDF)
Information about NC Wildlife Species
Contact a Wildlife Control Agent
Information about Wildlife Depredation Permits
Hunting and Trapping Rules/Regulations
Contact a Licensed Trapper During the Trapping Season
BEFORE YOU CALL, FOLLOW THESE STEPS!
If these measures fail to resolve the wildlife-caused damage, located and contact a Wildlife Control Agent by clicking the button above.