Are Raccoons aka Trash Panda’s Taking Over Iowa?
Raccoons can be cuddly-looking critters or wild varmints that need to be killed...according to the point of view of some Iowans.
The Gazette in Cedar Rapids, Iowa recently reported that the raccoon population in Iowa nearly tripling since 2006.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources said it counted 2,417 raccoons in 2006 compared to 6,486 in 2022.
They explained there has been a 268% increase in Iowa's raccoon population in the last 16 years.
There has been a large jump in nuisance raccoon calls in rural and urban settings.
People have reported damage to property, lost crops, and wild animal encounters.
The increase in the raccoon population is apparently due in part to a short hunting/trapping season and the fact the market for raccoon pelts is all but non-existent.
Raccoon pelts went for as much as $40 in the 1970s. Those same prime pelts now sell for under $5 bucks.
Currently, in Iowa, there is permission for anyone to kill a “nuisance” coyote, raccoon, opossum, skunk, or groundhog without receiving prior permission if the taking is for nuisance-control purposes.
At this time the Iowa Natural Resources Commission has approved a Department of Natural Resources proposal to create a continuous open season for raccoons.
There is great concern that an open season could devastate the raccoon population.
Raccoons are noted to have very few natural predators other than humans and they are scavengers that eat a lot of otherwise garbage items that aid in creating a cleaner ecosystem in the state.