Save the Day for Groundhogs

Target: Bryan Burhans, Executive Director of Pennsylvania Game Commission

Goal: Advocate for non-lethal methods to deter nuisance groundhogs.

Groundhogs grab the spotlight once a year, but for most of their lives these animals are solitary creatures that exist peacefully in the wild. Despite their reputation as a nuisance species, groundhogs do bring benefits to their ecosystems, most notably by providing homes to other species via their abandoned burrows. Unfortunately, when the animals’ need for burrowing clashes with human activities, conflict occurs…often with deadly results for the groundhogs.

In many regions, groundhogs can be killed without question if their burrows disturb a property. Traps and firearms are common methods used to kill the animals. And while traps deemed inhumane are banned in some areas, no guarantee is given that these painful devices will not be used. Non-lethal methods like live trapping and exclusion (physically preventing the groundhogs from digging burrows on a property) are readily available, but these humane techniques need more support.

Sign the petition below to urge a state that has become synonymous with Groundhog Day to provide this necessary support.


Dear Executive Director Burhans,

Punxsutawney Phil is an unofficial mascot not only for Groundhog Day but for the state of Pennsylvania itself. These solitary animals (that are sometimes even taken as pets) should not merit celebration and protection just one day of the year, however. Their safety should be prioritized year-round.

For the most part, groundhogs do not adversely impact their environment. In fact, they can benefit it and other wildlife. In cases where their activities do clash with people, however, these innocent animals should not be punished with their lives. Nearly a quarter of a million groundhogs are already sacrificed to hunting. Lethal actions taken by property owners do not need to add to these numbers.

Please launch a full-scale campaign to promote live trapping and exclusion. Help safeguard the animals that have meant so much to this state.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Oleg Mikhailenko

One Comment

  1. It is their nature to dig burrows! Planet earth does not belong to humans solely, it is meant to be shared with animals! Perhaps those homes that humans are living in were once their habitats?! Show mercy on these babies, be kind to them! Oftentimes HUMANS ARE THE TRESPASSERS!

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