Crazy Increase in Chipmunk Population in NH This Year Due to Last Year’s Nuts
If you have noticed an abundance of chipmunks this year you are not alone, according to an official at New Hampshire Fish and Game.
Wildlife Biologist Karen Bordeau is the leader of the agency's small game project and says they are receiving reports from the public.
"People are reporting a large number of chipmunks in their yard and near their garden," Bordeau said.
Bordeau explained that chipmunks store their food underground and if they have lots of acorns and beech nuts when they come out of hibernation in the spring, the females can produce two litters.
"They'll produce a lot of babies," Bordeau said.
An average litter is four or five chipmunks, Bordeau said.
Fish and Game officials track the foods wildlife eat, such as nuts and berries, so it wasn't completely surprising there are so many chipmunks.
Bordeau said mice are also doing well as a population.
If people need to deal with nuisance animals, officials at Fish and Game have some suggestions, including:
-Removing what's attracting the wildlife
-Putting barriers between the wildlife and the attractants
-Removing the wildlife
Locally, a 32-year-old man was accidentally struck in the head by a bullet last month while he and his eight-year-old nephew were shooting chipmunks in Milton.
The man was transported to Portsmouth Regional Hospital and was expected to recover from his injuries.
Investigators determined a bullet from a .22 caliber rifle ricocheted after killing a chipmunk.
Milton Police Chief Richard Krauss said at the time that it was a freak accident and it is not illegal to teach a child to shoot and take them hunting.
Fish and Game officials encourage people experiencing conflicts to contact their damage control partners at USDA Wildlife Services, who can be reached at (603) 223-6832.
Contact Managing News Editor Kimberley Haas at Kimberley.Haas@townsquaremedia.com.