Eastern Wildlife Damage Control Conferences


Date of this Version

October 1993


Wildlife populations can pose a variety of problems to managers of public water supplies. Further, new federal and state regulations governing the management and protection of drinking water supplies require greater consideration and mitigation of these problems. Metropolitan District Commission (MDC) manages watershed lands that provide high quality drinking water to more than 2.4 million people in Massachusetts. This water originates from the central and western portions of the state, from 3 watersheds and 2 reservoirs that also provide habitat for a wide variety of wildlife species. In recent years, the MDC has evaluated the impacts of various wildlife species on water quality and watershed integrity, and has instituted control measures to deal with several wildlife problems. These include: 1) management of beaver for (Castor canadensis) and beaver dams; 2) dispersion of gulls (Larus spp.) and Canada geese (Branta canadensis) that roost on the reservoirs; 3) a program to control white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) impacts on forest regeneration; and 4) control of small mammal burrowing activity in dams and dikes. The development of effective and successful programs for dealing with these problems has required careful assessment of the nature and extent of the impacts, including how they conflict with agency mandates, as well as an assessment of public opinions and concerns.