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Subject: Wildlife remediation
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Author Messages
LauraT4
(Georgia)

Posts:6


04/23/2021 9:59 PM  
Guidance if someone has feedback.

There is a 40 acre lot behind our subdivision, previously wooded, that has been cleared for a new construction. Naturally the wildlife is looking for places to go, and our neighborhood is the closest and is fairly wooded, as well. Anyway, the issue this week is the foxes. Our community has 3 lakes in which swans were purchased several years ago to run off the geese, these swans were paid for by the HOA and continue to have a budget line for food and upkeep. The swans are nesting, they do so somewhere different every year, but generally are on the easement between the lake and residential yards. The foxes have moved into a drain pipe on a private residents property, about 200 feet from the swans. The likelihood a fox would attack the actual swan is slim, those birds are mean and foxes don't do confrontation! Long story short, trying to determine which line of resolution puts the least amount of liability on the board:


The HOA is refusing to pay for wildlife removal, placing the responsibility on the private resident(s) to work together to eradicate the situation through modifications or they may get together and pay for a trapper. The Board does not want to set the precedent of paying for wildlife removal from private property; what if someone else in the neighborhood has a opossum they want removed, or a deer, squirrels, etc.? (the Board HAS paid for removal of beavers from the community property lake because of the damage they were doing to the dams, also common property)

vs

The homeowner states the fox is a threat to the swan eggs, so it is the boards responsibility to eradicate the threat and wants a trapper paid for by the association.


Our covenants and bylaws have no mention of wildlife specifically, just the associations responsibility is to maintain the cleanliness, upkeep and safety of the common areas.

TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17599


04/24/2021 12:53 AM  
I suspect that if you called animal control, they would simply say to leave the foxes alone and only call back if they are becoming aggressive.

That said, we have foxes in our neighborhood.
I've seen them when walking my dog.
The foxes pretty much leave everyone alone.

I think that the only thing the board should do is to inform the residents about the foxes and (after obtaining facts from animal control) provide information on what to do if they encounter one. Then provide the number for animal control if anyone has questions they should call animal control.

Hope this helps,

Tim
LauraT4
(Georgia)

Posts:6


04/24/2021 1:07 AM  
Thanks, Tim. The board contacted the county and the trapper used to remove the beavers from the lakes. Both said the same, some folks just don't like the answer; can't please everyone. Appreciate the feedback.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:1160


04/24/2021 2:10 PM  
Depends on the wildlife creature. In some cases it is against federal law to interfere with wildlife especially migratory birds. I would suggest calling Animal Control for guidance.
AugustinD


Posts:301


04/24/2021 4:07 PM  
Posted By LetA on 04/24/2021 2:10 PM
Depends on the wildlife creature. In some cases it is against federal law to interfere with wildlife especially migratory birds. I would suggest calling Animal Control for guidance.
Looks to me like LetA nailed it. Fox trapping appears to be pretty darn regulated in Georgia, per several sites. I haven't quite nailed down for sure what is allowed or not allowed. But the following is one reason why I think more investigation of any proposal to trap the OP's HOA Foxes is needed:
"Trapping and relocating foxes in Georgia is against the law because the state’s fox population is increasing and fox problems are widespread; also relocated foxes can cause problems in new locations." --https://www.urbanwildlifecontrol.com/animals/foxes/
LauraT4
(Georgia)

Posts:6


04/24/2021 4:27 PM  
Yeah, GA guidance on wildlife is incredibly vague. GA guidance on anything HOA is incredibly vague. Good times all around, all the time.
AugustinD


Posts:301


04/24/2021 5:31 PM  
Posted By LauraT4 on 04/24/2021 4:27 PM
GA guidance on wildlife is incredibly vague.
This was not my meaning. By my quick check, I think it's likely there are laws you could quote back to the Owner informing him that trapping the foxes is illegal right now, either because of the time of year (the trapping season for foxes in Georgia is a few months), or because it is flat-out illegal to trap and re-locate in Georgia. But you all will have to do some work to confirm the law. And you're not paid to do this work.
KellyM3
(North Carolina)

Posts:1695


04/25/2021 6:29 AM  
In Georgia, if it's illegal to trap and relocate foxes, then the option is lethal wildlife control. That falls under the guidance of state wildlife officials as a wildlife management act. Canada geese, beavers and muskrats often fall under the designation of being banned from trapping & relocation.

In terms of foxes in a neighborhood, it's a wildlife management issue and not animal welfare or "rescue." For those of us not accustomed to viewing culling as an option for nuisance animals, it seems a harsh and unacceptable option.

My advice is that if the only worry is the fox eating the swan eggs, you may not want to exercise "lethal take."

If the foxes could wipe out your swans and eggs, I'd at least talk about it.

If the foxes posed any threat or aggression to humans (not humans provoking the foxes or den interference), that's a different matter.


What's really being debated is the cost of wildlife management and whether a property owner must remove foxes to save swans owned by the HOA. I'd say "no." The property owner doesn't own the foxes, who are acting naturally.

These are really tough situations due to emotion.

JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:10944


04/25/2021 11:06 AM  
Posted By KellyM3 on 04/25/2021 6:29 AM
In Georgia, if it's illegal to trap and relocate foxes, then the option is lethal wildlife control. That falls under the guidance of state wildlife officials as a wildlife management act. Canada geese, beavers and muskrats often fall under the designation of being banned from trapping & relocation.

In terms of foxes in a neighborhood, it's a wildlife management issue and not animal welfare or "rescue." For those of us not accustomed to viewing culling as an option for nuisance animals, it seems a harsh and unacceptable option.

My advice is that if the only worry is the fox eating the swan eggs, you may not want to exercise "lethal take."

If the foxes could wipe out your swans and eggs, I'd at least talk about it.

If the foxes posed any threat or aggression to humans (not humans provoking the foxes or den interference), that's a different matter.


What's really being debated is the cost of wildlife management and whether a property owner must remove foxes to save swans owned by the HOA. I'd say "no." The property owner doesn't own the foxes, who are acting naturally.

These are really tough situations due to emotion.





Well said.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:3921


04/25/2021 6:04 PM  
Apparently, this homeowner doesn't watch enough Animal Planet or Nat Geo (or BBC America on a Saturday night!) Canines like foxes and water birds like swans and geese are natural enemies - the foxes gonna fox and the swans will - fight back.

This would be another story if the fox and/or swans were a danger to people - which usually happens when people think of them as overgrown pets and try to approach them. I think swans are even more badass than geese when it's breeding season, but the foxes may also have kits around the same time (I think kits is what you call baby foxes, not pups). Since there doesn't seem to be an issue with people, the HOA should leave these critters alone and may the best one win. Tell the homeowner that and if he/she wants the fox removed, he/she can pay for it.
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