Why Are Chipmunks Protected In Pennsylvania? [Hunting Laws &..]

why are chipmunks protected in Pennsylvania

Chipmunks are cute and can sometimes be nice around the yard. Although sometimes they can be a nuisance and cause damage to your garden or even your home. Before you take action toward removing them from your land, you need to know how to deal with them without breaking any laws. 

Although chipmunks are not endangered, they are still protected in Pennsylvania because they are not considered game animals or furbearers. Therefore, when getting rid of chipmunks, it is essential not to harm them. However, there are ways to deal with them without breaking any laws. 

It can be unclear when it comes to knowing which animals are protected in which states. Therefore, it is better not to take action against an animal before knowing and understanding the state laws.

Why Are The Chipmunks Protected In Pennsylvania?

Chipmunks do not qualify as “game animals” because they are non-furbearers. Therefore, Chipmunks are a protected under the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Landowners experiencing damage to their property can trap and remove chipmunks as long as they adhere to specific regulations. 

Under Pennsylvania law, trapping is the most practical method for eliminating chipmunks. You can purchase live traps from local hardware stores and pest control companies or set up your own trap.

Types of Chipmunks Found In Pennsylvania

The Eastern chipmunk is the only species found in Pennsylvania. It is reddish-brown with two black stripes down its back and white patches along its sides. It can be found in forests, suburbs, and parks throughout the state.

The state also has laws that make it illegal to harass or kill native wildlife, including game animals and nongame animals such as chipmunks. 

Therefore, hunting chipmunks is illegal in Pennsylvania. Furbearers are a specific class of game primarily hunted for their fur (hence the name furbearers).

It is small, agile, and can be found all across Pennsylvania. The population of a given area may rise or fall yearly, depending on the climate and food supply. 

According to some scientists, there are two to four chipmunks for every acre of suitable habitat. As a result, local populations are generally resistant to the effects of predators.

Chipmunks have evolved the ability to adapt their behavior to a wide range of habitats to survive. So we don’t expect any significant changes in their population anytime soon. 

Where Can Chipmunks Be Found?

Chipmunks can be found everywhere around North America and many parts of Europe. Chipmunks will spend most of their time underground in their burrows or down on the ground scavenging for fallen seeds and other delectables. 

The chipmunks can either eat the food they find or take it home to store for winter when the time comes. 

Are Chipmunks Endangered Species 

There are around 25 different discovered species of chipmunks, and of the many species, only one is currently endangered. Chipmunks are some of the most common and well-known mammals on the planet.

The endangered species is called Palmer’s chipmunk and is on the red list of the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). The Palmer’s chipmunk endangerment results from its habitat being destroyed and reduced due to the expansion of campgrounds and the cutting down of trees.

The Hunting Laws Regarding Chipmunks In Pennsylvania

If a chipmunk is causing or is likely to damage your property, the law in most jurisdictions allows you to remove (not kill) it. 

In addition, nongame animal killing without a license is illegal in many states, including Georgia, North Carolina, and Arkansas.

Other states are working on legislation to ensure the safety of all nongame species. For information on the status of chipmunks in your area, contact your state’s conservation agency or the USDA-APHIS-ADC.

Are Chipmunks A Pest? 

Chipmunks are relatively harmless, and there are virtually no issues with having them around your land. However, some consider chipmunks a nuisance because of the damage they can cause with their burrowing habits. For example, 

Their burrows are extremely hard to spot because they carry all the excess dirt and dispose of it far away from the den to avoid attracting predators. 

In Rare cases, Chipmunks will damage Decks, patios, foundation walls, retention walls, and slabs. Furthermore, chipmunks bring in other pests, like fleas, if they live in your yard. 

Chipmunks are also sometimes prone to dig up and eat spring flowers. 

Chipmunks Burrows 

Chipmunk burrows are very similar to human houses because they have different rooms for different needs. 

The chipmunk burrows have sleep quarters, food storage, places to defecate, and even a place to give birth. 

These burrows will be dug up to 30 feet long and 3 feet deep, with multiple tunnels and chambers.

How To Keep Chipmunks Off Your Property Without Killing Them

There are a few ways to keep chipmunks out of your house and off your property. However, before taking action by removing chipmunks from your property, it is essential to make sure not to hurt them in any way. 

So, here are some ways to prevent chipmunks from coming to your yard.

Closing Off Entrances

You can use caulking, hardware cloth with a mesh size of 1/4 inch (0.6 cm), or other suitable material to close off sections where chipmunks can access your yard. 

You can also use hardware cloth to prevent chipmunks from entering flower beds and other areas of your property where you do not want them to be.

Making Changes To The Landscaping In Your Yard

Plant ground cover, trees, and shrubs far away from each other to eliminate hiding and habitation spots in the landscape. Placing bird feeders away from trees and buildings will help prevent attracting chipmunks. 

It is also an excellent idea to include a bird feeder that’s secure enough to keep rodents like chipmunks and squirrels out and prevent seeds from dropping on the ground.

Safe Chipmunk Or Squirrel Repellents

You can keep rodents out of your yard by scattering deterrents like cayenne pepper, apple cider, garlic, and peppermint around your plants and gardens, as the smell deters the chipmunks. 

Multiple applications of the repellent are necessary. Repellents are not always cost-effective and rarely prevent damage by 100 percent. 

Still, it is an excellent way to lessen the damage caused by chipmunks and other rodents.

Are Chipmunks And Squirrels Related? 

Chipmunks and squirrels are closely related and part of the Sciuridae family. Other Sciuridae species include marmots, known as (mountain beavers, woodchucks, and groundhogs). Flying squirrels are also a part of this family. 

Are Squirrels Protected In Pennsylvania

Even though Chipmunks are a part of the squirrel family, the laws around killing the two can differ. For example, it is legal to catch and kill squirrels in most countries, whereas chipmunks are protected in Pennsylvania. Squirrels are not protected.

Final Word

Although chipmunk populations in Pennsylvania are stable, this species is protected because it is neither a game animal nor a furbearer. 

Only one chipmunk species is considered endangered, the “Palmer’s” chipmunk. 

Never intentionally harm chipmunks when removing them. There are legal ways to deal with them without hurting them.

Remember, they are an essential part of Pennsylvania’s ecosystem and have a vital role in our ecosystem. Therefore, it’s essential to protect these animals. 

By making changes to the landscaping in your yard and using safe chipmunk or squirrel repellents, you can help keep them off your property while still protecting the species.

Related Articles







Recent Posts