Date of this Version
Lafayette Park, a 3.0 hectare national park located across the street from the White House in Washington D.C., has had a gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) density as high as 50 animals/hectare. In recent years this large population caused significant damage to mature trees and other vegetation. In keeping with the legislative mandate to protect and preserve the historic landscape in Lafayette Park, the National Park Service implemented a squirrel management program following an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach. The population was studied and monitored to determine the ecological bases for high squirrel numbers. Action was taken through a program of squirrel relocation and habitat modification to reduce available den sites. These programs were coordinated to minimize impact on the existing population, and continued monitoring has been used to evaluate efficacy. The implications of this program for resolving people-wildlife conflicts in urban environments are discussed.