Guess which animal gets the most calls into our region’s Dept. of Fish and Wildlife

Guess which animal gets the most calls into our region’s Dept. of Fish and Wildlife

It might surprise some to find out that it’s not bears, nor cougars, or even moose that get the most calls into our region’s Department of Fish and Wildlife. Turns out, it’s Yellow-Bellied Marmots that, having come out of hibernation, are out in number this time of year.

You are likely to see them scurrying away as you walk along the Centennial Trail, out at the golf course, and students at WSU Spokane like to look at them on their way to classes. Some of those marmots being quite confident in their burrows being untouchable and have earned themselves the reputation of being Spokane’s unofficial mascot.

But if you find yourself in the uncomfortable position of having these rodents as persistent neighbors, you may not find them quite as cute as they setup their colony under your home.

Kile Westerman, a wildlife conflict specialist at the WDFW says the best way to keep marmots from burrowing under your home, or other structures, is to lay wire fencing down in a three foot radius around your home, or bury it three feet deep.

Additionally, he advises not landscaping with large piles of rocks, as these provide the perfect home for the rodents.

As for removing them, he says it’s now illegal to trap and relocate them on your own without a permit, unless it is back on to your own property. Licensed professionals are also unable to relocate them, but you are advised to call a professional for removal.

Removal will only go so far though, as Westerman says. Unless the burrows are filled in, there will be future residents in there quite quickly.

For more information click here to go to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website.

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