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Wildlife

We are concerned with preserving natural wildlife while also ensuring the safety of park patrons and county residents. Being in a dense, urban environment makes occasional conflicts unavoidable, but we can and do co-exist.

Common Wildlife

Deer

Deer are back in Montgomery County to stay and we are going to have to learn to live with our new neighbors. Here are some ways to help reduce and prevent deer problems.

  • Deer Management Plan – The goal of Montgomery County’s Deer Management Plan is to reduce human-deer conflicts to a level that is compatible with human priorities and land uses.
  • Deer Management FAQs – Commonly asked questions about the Pilot Archery Deer Management Program, Shotgun Managed Hunting, and Park Police-based Sharpshooting deer population management efforts.
  • Closed Parks During Deer Hunts – Some parks close during the deer hunts, some are open as usual. Visit link to learn which parks are impacted by deer and closed at times for hunting.

Black Bears

The American Black Bear (Ursus americanus) is the largest land mammal native to the State of Maryland. Once nearly eradicated from the State, by forest habitat degradation and indiscriminant killing, black bears have made a strong comeback largely due to conservation efforts and forested habitat improvements.

Ticks

Be careful: lyme disease is an infectious illness that is transmitted to animals and humans by the bite of a tick.

Beavers

When Europeans first began to settle North America, beavers (Castor canadensis) were plentiful, but the high demand for beaver pelts to supply the European fur trade in the 1800’s nearly caused their extinction.

Canada Geese

Non-migrating Canada geese have become a problem to some people in urban and suburban areas. Because the environment there is so favorable, the birds have become a permanent fixture to the city.

Coyotes

Once a symbol of the American west, Coyotes are now present in every state in the continental US, with Maryland and Delaware being the last areas in the country to be colonized.

Owls

Owls are nocturnal birds of prey that call parks and trails (and other areas) home.

  • If using the trail during the evening hours, we suggest tucking ponytails into a hat and verbalizing a human presence to reduce the chance of an attack.
  • Remember that the simple movement of a ponytail may resemble an animal’s tail. Owls will defend their territory from anything, and have been known to strike at people.
  • Remember that parks and trails serve as a natural habitat for owls and other wildlife. In the case of owls, it is more common for demonstrations of territoriality to be intended as a hreat and not harm.

Animal Complaints or Emergencies

Montgomery County Police Emergency Communications Center

Dail 3-1-1 to report animal emergencies and complaints in Montgomery County to the Montgomery County Police Emergency Communications Center (ECC) . – additional ECC information.

M-NCPPC Montgomery Parks

Wildlife Ecology Unit – 301-962-1344

Maryland Wildlife Information Line – Call 877-463-6497, toll free, to report problems with wildlife around your home.

Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Call 410-260-8888 to report emergencies involving wildlife around your home or elsewhere in the county.

Last Updated: November 2, 2016