Troublesome animals in urban areas

Do you have troublesome animals in your backyard?

Although cities are generally thought to be inhospitable for wildlife, many small mammals still choose to live in human-made habitats. While most people would expect to see squirrels, mice and rats in urban areas, it may come as a surprise to learn that raccoons, skunks, marmots, foxes and bats can also be found. However, the activities of these small city-dwellers sometimes cause problems for their human neighbours.

Abundance of resources

Urban areas are full of interesting resources for these small animals known as “troublesome”. But they are not there by accident or by chance! Unintentionally, we often provide them with food, shelter, and security.

  • Garbage cans and household waste provide animals with plenty of food throughout the year.
  • The dog or cat food you place outside the house is a very attractive food source for urban wildlife, whether they are raccoons, skunks, or even squirrels. If your pet or the stray cats in the neighborhood eat it, urban wildlife will certainly do so as well. When the morning comes, you will never really know who emptied the bowl.
  • The undersides of galleries, sheds and garages offer suitable shelters for giving birth and for spending the winter, especially since large natural predators of small mammals are absent from large cities.
  • Roof spaces and attics are also interesting shelters, and some animals may be tempted to gnaw on electrical wires, among other things.

Fortunately, there are several things we can do to live in harmony with urban wildlife. However, since some species may carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans, such as rabies, they must not be touched or relocated.

If you find an animal that must be declared injured or dead, contact SOS Poaching – Wildlife Emergency at 1-800-463-2191.

If you have any other questions about wildlife in Québec, contact the Department’s customer service at 1-844-523-6738.

See also