The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is vested with the management authority and responsibilities over all fish and wildlife resources in the state. In order to manage and protect the state’s wildlife resources, the DEM establishes regulations and policies that are intended to protect and sustain these resources for the enjoyment of the state’s citizens and for their intrinsic value.
Since the establishment of modern wildlife management principles many wildlife species populations once considered rare or declining in numbers have recovered dramatically. This, in some instances, has resulted in Rhode Islanders encountering more wildlife species than ever before, particularly for species that thrive in urban and suburban locals. The distinction between the rural and urban environments is no longer as clear as it used to be as development continues to occur in the formerly rural parts of the state. Some wildlife species are highly adaptable in their behaviors and tolerant of human activity. These species have found adequate if not ample habitat resources in our backyards and neighborhoods. While this may add interest to the local environment and enjoyment to residents, it can also result in a variety of conflicts.
Certain actions taken to mitigate nuisance wildlife situations may require a permit from the DEM or the use of a nuisance wildlife control specialist. Questions about nuisance wildlife issues, regulations, and the Nuisance Wildlife Control Specialist program should be directed to the DEM’s Division of Fish and Wildlife.