Understanding Average Wildlife Populations
A wildlife control operator (WCO) complained that all the experts said that there were on average only 8 pocket gophers per acre. Yet he had trapped 12 on a ¼ acre. His question is
understandable. But it shows a misapprehension of population density averages.
- Average is just an average. This means that your plot of land can have more or less than the average (often depending on the quality of habitat).
- Check the calendar. In general, wildlife populations are higher in the spring (due to young) and lower in the winter (due to deaths due to winter/predation/hunger).
- Wildlife move. Wildlife are always looking for a better place to live. If you remove pocket gophers from an area, pocket gophers from the surrounding property will readjust their home range and move into the newly vacated property.
Keep these 3 points in mind and you will have a better understanding of average wildlife populations.
About the Author
Stephen M. Vantassel is a Certified Wildlife Control Operator (CWCP®) who helps individuals, businesses, and agencies resolve wildlife damage issues through training, writing, expert witness, and research. He has written the Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook, 3rd edition. Reach him at wildlifecontrolconsultant at gmail dot com.
All postings are the property of Stephen M. Vantassel and Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC. Text (not images) may be reprinted in non-profit publications provided that the author and website URL is included. If images wish to be used, explicit and written permission must be obtained from Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC.