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Digital Subscriptions > Cottage Life > Fall 2017 > Wildlife woes, hunt fears & foam docks

Wildlife woes, hunt fears & foam docks

Cottage Q&A

OUR COTTAGE was inundated with red squirrels this year. So far, I have live-trapped 11 of them and transported them about seven kilometres away. Is this far enough so that they won’t come back? Or am I catching the same squirrels? —ALFIE PENEYCAD, SHADOW LAKE, ONT.

It’s possible. Many animals have a homing instinct, says Kamal Khidas, the curator of vertebrate collections at the Canadian Museum of Nature. We know this because of all those heartwarming news stories about pets that get lost on vacation, and then—it’s a miracle!—find their way back to their owners many months later. But also because of research on the behaviour of translocated wild animals: deer, moose, bears, wolves (plus sea turtles and pythons). “In general, the larger the species, the farther the distance from which they can return,” says Khidas. But seven kilometres? That’s a long haul. If you relocate a squirrel today, you’re not going to see the same one tomorrow. It’s more likely that a new one has moved into the area, says Stan Boutin, a professor in biological sciences at the University of Alberta. “As soon as one disappears, another squirrel is Johnny-on-the-spot, ready to take over.”

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About Cottage Life

Cottage Life’s Fall issue brings you the magic of the season. Kick your campfire up a notch with desserts that are delicious and pure fun. Get inspired by the story of a family whose three generations pitch in to add on to their retreat—gaining hands-on skills and a love of the cottage along the way. Discover the secrets to better sleep at the lake. Build a fold-up workbench, and get the lowdown on Tesla solar roof tiles, two handy jacks, and six small problem-solving gadgets for your workshop. Choose the best water-filtration system for your family (so you can stop hauling water to the cottage!). And when it’s finally time to close up for the season, we’ve got 17 smarter ways to put your boats, docks, plumbing, and more to bed—with a lot less stress. Plus, as fish numbers drop, we asked the experts what’s going on below the surface of our lakes. Chock full of advice and inspiration, this issue offers the best of fall at the cottage.