The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has proposed adding 12 new species to the state’s list of nuisance animals, which currently includes 47 species. These animals can cause damage to property, agriculture, or natural resources, and their removal is often necessary to mitigate the negative effects.
The 12 species proposed for addition to the list include the mute swan, black swan, Egyptian goose, Canada goose, muskrat, beaver, coyote, raccoon, red fox, gray fox, bobcat, and river otter. The DNR has stated that these animals were chosen based on their potential to cause damage, their population size, and the availability of alternative management options.
If approved, the addition of these species to the list would allow landowners and authorized individuals to take certain actions to control or remove them without obtaining a permit from the DNR. However, the DNR emphasizes that humane treatment of these animals is still required, and illegal hunting or trapping is not allowed.
The proposal has sparked some controversy, with some arguing that adding certain species, such as the coyote and river otter, could lead to over-hunting and population declines. Others have expressed concern that the proposal is too broad and could potentially harm non-target species.
The DNR has stated that it will carefully consider all public comments on the proposal before making a final decision. The public can submit comments until May 13, 2023.
In addition to adding species to the nuisance animal list, the DNR has also proposed changes to the rules regarding the possession and transport of certain wild animals, such as raccoons and skunks, which are often kept as pets. The proposed changes would require a permit for possession and transport of these animals and would aim to prevent the spread of diseases and protect public safety.
Overall, the DNR’s proposal aims to balance the needs of landowners and natural resource managers with the conservation of wildlife populations. The agency encourages the public to provide feedback on the proposal and stay informed about wildlife management issues in Michigan.