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PA Flooding Affects Wildlife

Jennifer Smith

Posted on July 25 2018

The recent flooding has become a headache for residents throughout the southcentral part of the state. But the price some animals are paying is much worse. 

Excessive flooding can interfere with nests made on the ground, causing animals to lose an entire litter of unborn or newly born babies.

Fortunately, floods that occur in July aren't nearly as devastating to wildlife as floods in May, when most mammals are going through the nesting process.

“By and large, we are past the big boom for babies,” PA Game Commission spokesperson Travis Lau said. “Most reproduction and raising of young is done for the year.”

However, some animals have multiple litters throughout the year and are right in the middle of their second reproduction cycle.

 “With ground nesters like rabbits, there could be an increased chance of mortality due to flood conditions,” Lau said.  “I have found rabbit nests in creek bottoms before, they tend to nest in some goofy places.”

The timing is also good for PA hunters because there is very little game in season in July.

“Groundhog hunting would probably be the most widely participated in this time of year. Flooded fields aren’t going to be particularly good for groundhog hunting,” Lau said. “But conditions right after rain usually are good. It’s dependent on the specific property.”

Another concern would be the effect flooding has on food supplies for animals. The Game Commission is putting out fewer food plots across the state, but potential flood damage could create a headache in the future. 

“Flood waters can play havoc on agricultural crops and food plots,” Lau said. “Those are the kind of things that we would have to just take our losses with, and maybe go in and do additional work down the line.”

Story re-posted from York Daily Record, By John Buffone