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Living with Wildlife Series

BeaverBlack Bear icon - photo by Joe SubolefskyCanadian GeeseCoyotedeerTicks & Lyme DiseaseLiving with Owls - Barred Owl icon


Humans and animals can come into conflict in urban areas. Here you will find information to help us coexist with them.

In My Backyard

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.

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.

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.

UPDATE: This June, Montgomery Parks will add a new tool to the population management program that will remove geese from Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreational and Rock Creek Regional Parks.

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.

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.

Ticks & Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is an infectious illness that is transmitted to animals and humans by the bite of a tick.

Living with Owls
Owls are nocturnal birds of prey that call parks and trails (and other areas) home. We’ve been alerted to an aggressive owl on the Capital Crescent Trail and are passing these tips along to our park and trail users:

  • 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.

Wild Montgomery

Enjoy and explore Montgomery County's beautiful wild places! Your parks offer a wide variety of outdoor and nature programs for all ages throughout the year. From hikes, rock climbing and kayaking to stream exploration, star gazing, and maple-sugaring, you can always celebrate and steward our natural environment.

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 to the Maryland Wildlife Information Line.

Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Call 410-260-8888 to report emergencies involving wildlife around your home or elsewhere in the county to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

Last update: July 6, 2016