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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Live-Trapping California Ground Squirrels is for the Birds


California ground squirrels are known to inhabit different landscapes and terrains. Farms and ranches with ground squirrels are often at an advantage over other types of locations such as schools and public parks, where squirrel control options are more limited. Many private companies and public agencies dealing with squirrel problems experience public opposition to the use of poisons in public areas and must find other workable solutions. Live-trapping California ground squirrels is one control method that is being considered by many agencies. City and county parks, public and private schools, horse boarding stables, and organic farms are some of the locations appropriate for use in this type of program. The use of live-traps for safety and target-specific reasons, and the use of CO2 as the most humane method of euthanasia for rodents, are widely accepted by most people, even when the trapping is done openly in public. Live trapped ground squirrels can have a benefit beyond the reduction of squirrel damage. Using trapped squirrels as a natural food source for hawks, owls, and eagles at raptor rehabilitation facilities makes this approach an effective, safe, and acceptable control method in specific places.

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