Understanding Solutions to Wildlife Conflict
As cities expand and natural habitat is reduced, increased urbanization has led to a rise in human-wildlife conflict. Translocation—relocating wildlife to another area—is a common technique for managing wildlife conflict. Yet little is known about what happens to “nuisance” animals once they’re released. These animals often originate in urban and suburban residential areas and are released into new rural habitats…an approach that could introduce a new set of challenges for the animal.
Woodchucks (also known as groundhogs) are a common source of conflict with humans; they dig large burrows and often eat gardens and landscaping. Lincoln Park Zoo is using radio telemetry to study the fates of relocated nuisance woodchucks in the Chicago area. What risks do relocated woodchucks face in their new habitats? Do they remain at the release site or do they attempt to return to their original locations? Do relocated woodchucks create conflict in their new homes?
By studying how translocation impacts these animals, this project will build a better understanding of how to best manage human-wildlife conflict.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Robert Schooley, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
Willowbrook Wildlife Center
Jennifer Nevis, D.V.M.