Have you ever done battle with a woodchuck (AKA a groundhog) on your property? Who won?
After over 20 years of studying woodchucks in southern Maine — including countless hours studying the population at Maine Audubon’s Gilsland Farm sanctuary — I’ve been asked many, many times about how to get rid of a woodchuck in someone’s vegetable garden, flower bed, or under the shed or deck. And I’ve heard a lot of stories about people’s experiences.
This past year, two researchers from the University of Maine — Dr. Anne Lichtenwalner and Dr. Carly Sponarski — joined me on a project to ask people about ways they manage woodchucks on their property. We recruited Brit Evangelista, an undergraduate biology student here at the University of Southern Maine, to help us, and we sent a survey to people associated with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.
We want to find out which methods work, and which don’t. Once we do, we can compile those methods into a publication that provides information to help people in their own battles with woodchucks, and perhaps even other species. Not surprisingly, most people who completed that initial survey lived in rural settings; we decided we wanted to extend the project to see what approaches work (and don’t work) in urban and suburban settings, too.
That’s where you come in.
If you would like to participate in the survey and share your experiences about how you manage woodchucks on your property, please consider completing our survey. It should take 15-30 minutes. By sharing your stories, you can help us teach other people about ways to prevent woodchucks from damaging property, including gardens. All responses are valuable to our study, and we encourage you to answer all questions.
Your participation is voluntary, of course, and your answers are completely anonymous. Please answer questions as openly as possible, and do not include your name. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me by email. Finally, if you already completed the survey last spring, please do not fill it out again so we don’t double count your response.
Thank you for your participation!