Archive for November 18, 2011

Muskrat on the Connecticut River

I thoroughly enjoyed watching these guys swimming along the surface of the water, and then diving under exposing their serpentine tails. 

Muskrats can be found in almost any freshwater in Vermont, even small cattail swales. However, the largest densities are located in the extensive cattail marshes in the Champlain and Connecticut River Valleys.Excessive muskrat populations can have harmful effects for both the muskrats and humans. An overly large muskrat population becomes stressed due to the lack of food. This makes disease more common among muskrats, including hepatitis, tularemia, and rabies. These diseases can devastate a muskrat population and the animals endure long- term suffering. Some of these diseases can spread to humans from direct contact or through water. Muskrats can also damage and flood roadways and raise havoc with croplands. Regulated trapping helps to control the number of muskrats and is a practical and humane method for controlling over population. This management tool allows for the surplus animals to be harvested, which improves the overall health of the muskrat population. -excerpt taken from www.


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