Participation of private landowners is critical to the successful eradication of nutria from the Delmarva Peninsula. Many landowners, especially those in Dorchester County, have seen and felt the impact of nutria firsthand. Duck blinds formerly on the marsh edge are now surrounded by water, and marshes once offering firm footing have turned into quagmires.
A landowner discusses his options for nutria control with US Department of Agriculture and US Fish and Wildlife Service experts. USDA photo.
When approached by the eradication team, over 95% of landowners welcome the opportunity to help by allowing wildlife specialists onto their land. Landowner cooperation is critical as more than half of all nutria removed are on private lands.
Radio-telemetry studies on the Delmarva Peninsula showed that nutria could reinvade marshlands within a ten mile radius from small populations on inaccessible private land. Comprehensive participation by private landowners is critical to achieving the eradication goal.
The Landowner Committee, comprised of landowners who have reaped the conservation benefits offered by the program, identifies conflicts and offers solutions that address the concerns of landowners while allowing the eradication team to do their job. This group also helps the eradication team in approaching landowners and obtaining agreements in areas where nutria might be present but have not caused visual damage yet. Landowners who do not perceive nutria being a problem for them may be less inclined to permit access to their property.
The Landowner Committee can ease the concerns of reluctant landowners, helping the eradication team succeed in their mission. The committee meets periodically with eradication team representatives and helps conduct community meetings to educate landowners and other stakeholders.
The management team representative on the Landowner Committee, Glenn Carowan, can be reached at 410-271-4528 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 4, 2016