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If you need help with a specific problem or nuisance animal, contact CMPD Animal Control or the NC Wildlife Resource Commission. If you are interested in learning more about local wildlife populations, keep reading or contact us!
-Highlighted Research and Management Efforts-
Bats: Nocturnal creatures are always difficult to research, but it's even tougher when they fly! To get an idea of our local bat populations and how they are affected by urbanization and the recent outbreak of diseases such as White-Nose Syndrome, staff use special audio recorders to capture the calls bats use for echolocation. Analyzing the calls using special software provides a window into the world of bats- what species we have, their preferred habitats, and when they are active. This research is in partnership with UNC Greensboro.
Birds: Speaking of things that fly, the department is also involved with bird related research. A variety of partners, volunteers, and staff contribute to avian research through nest box monitoring, bird banding, and field surveys with good binoculars and well-tuned ears. One product of this research is a soon-to-be published Breeding Bird Atlas. Check out some of this data through the USGS portal.
Coyotes: A relative newcomer to Mecklenburg County, coyotes have become common across the region as they have expanded their range from other parts of the U.S. As with any wild animal, they may be dangerous when approached, and should never be fed or encouraged to stay near people. Click here to download a fact sheet.
Deer: The native white-tailed deer is plentiful across a wide range, but the local deer density is among the highest in the state. With few natural predators, limited hunting pressure, and a buffet of landscaping to eat, the deer population in Mecklenburg County has grown to over 45 animals per square mile (2015, NCWRC). Such a high density causes problems, and not just when deer dart into traffic. Diseases and parasites are more prevalent for animals in dense populations. Because of these known issues, the department carefully manages permit-based hunts each year at select nature preserves. This is the only hunting allowed on park property. Click here for more information on permit-hunts.
Insects: Bugs are easy to overlook, but actually make up a huge portion of global biodiversity and provide services vital to the survival of our other native species. With insect populations declining wordwide it is important to understand the status of our local species. Natural resources staff and volunteer researchers are working on projects that will provide greater understanding of our insect diversity, especially for groups such as butterflies, moths, dragonflies, damselflies and beetles.