Wildlife Damage Control in Tennessee
All animals need food, water, and shelter to survive. Loss of habitat, due to urban growth, increases the chance for wild animal/human interactions. Many animals move and find suitable habitat away from these areas. Raccoons, opossums, coyotes, foxes, and skunks thrive in the urban environment.
Because of the large numbers of these animals, TWRA cannot assist landowners with capturing the nuisance wildlife. Wildlife Officers typically do not trap or remove nuisance wildlife but will provide technical assistance to landowners.
ADC operators, permitted by TWRA, will assist landowners in trapping and/or removing nuisance wildlife at the landowner’s expense. TWRA does not have regulatory authority over these individuals and does not guarantee the quality of service they perform. Every reasonable effort is made to exclude disreputable individuals during the permitting process. You can find a licensed Animal Control Operator below.
Landowners have several options for dealing with nuisance wildlife. As a landowner or tenant, you can legally capture some species of nuisance wildlife without a permit if the animal is discovered to be causing damage. Some animals are protected by law.
You may purchase a live box trap at most garden supply or home improvement stores. Once the animal is captured, you must release or euthanize the animal on your property. If you would like to have the animal released, you must have a permitted ADC operator transport the animal to an approved release site.
Be careful capturing animals in the spring. Young animals may be involved. Before enclosing any entry points, make sure all animals have exited the structure.
The following species are not protected by law because they are non-native invasive populations with potential to damage property, pose a human health risk, and have detrimental effects on native wildlife.
- House (English) Sparrow
- European Starling
- Rock Pigeon
Species deemed destructive
The following species are deemed destructive to property and may pose a safety or health risk to people, livestock, and other native wildlife.
Tennessee Code Annotated 70-4-115 states in part that, the owner of lands may destroy any wild animals, wild birds, or wild fowl when such wild animals, wild birds, or wild fowl are destroying property upon such lands. Any person, before destroying any big game under the conditions provided for in this section, is required to obtain a permit for destroying such big game. Such permit shall be issued by an officer of the wildlife resources agency. Big game is defined as deer, wild turkey and bear. The landowner should contact the TWRA regional office in which the property is located and an officer will be assigned to contact the landowner.
|West Tennessee - Region I||Middle Tennessee - Region II||Cumberland Plateau - Region III||East Tennessee - Region IV|
|Phone: 731-423-5725||Phone: 615-781-6622||Phone: 931-484-9571||Phone: 423-587-7037|
|Toll Free: 800-372-3928||Toll Free: 800-624-7406||Toll Free: 833-402-4699||Toll Free: 800-332-0900|
Can I take care of the problem myself?
Yes, if you are the landowner.
TCA 70-4-115 Destruction and disposal of wildlife---Permit---Penalty.
(a) The owner of lands may destroy any wild animals, wild birds, or wild fowl when such wild animals, wild birds, or wild fowl are destroying property upon such lands. Any person, before destroying any big game under the conditions provided for in this section, is required to obtain a permit for destroying such big game. Such permit shall be issued by an officer of the wildlife resources agency.
NOTE: If you are experiencing animal damage caused by a federally protected species, you must obtain a permit from USFWS https://www.fws.gov/permits/#sthash.nSt3rzh7.dpufhttp://www.fws.gov/permits/ prior to destroying such wildlife.
Can I relocate an animal I have trapped?
No. Because of illness and disease, it is illegal to transport any live wildlife (TCA 70-4-401) and release said wildlife (TCA 70-4-412) without a permit.
If I trap a live wild animal, who can I call to relocate the animal?
You may contact any of the ADC permit holders. This is NOT a free service. TWRA recommends you contact several permit holders for estimates before hiring.
If I hire an ADC permit holder, are there any mandated charges set by the TWRA or USFWS?
No. TWRA or USFWS does not regulate the business or practices. In the case of bats, we do require that the operator obtain approval prior to any exclusion work. Information we require consists of: species, number, and if any young are present. This is a simple task of counting (estimate) the bats. If you are charged for this count and if you feel that the cost of this action is high, please seek other estimates.
Once I hire an ADC operator, who do I contact if I am not satisfied with the work?
You may contact your local Better Business Bureau or the Consumer Affairs Division of the Tennessee Dept. of Commerce. TWRA does not resolve disputes between ADC operators and their customers
Once wildlife has been trapped, is there a time requirement to remove the animal from the trap?
Yes, ADC operators are mandated by law to check each trap within 36 hours. Once the trap is checked, the 36 hour “time clock” begins.