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More on Muskrat Populations

Numerous articles are popping up about the drastic decline in muskrat populations.  I've noticed this but wasn't sure if it was just me or a real trend.  Looks like it's for real, but nobody seems to have any answers explaining why.  In a recent Tribune-Review article I found this statistic amazing:  In Pennsylvania the muskrat harvest went from 621,111 in 1984 to 74,059 in 2008.  A huge drop, and the article reports that the number of muskrat trappers has remained about the same throughout that time.  You can read the rest of the article here: Muskrat Population Suffers Drastic Decline.


  1. Muskrats are at the mercy of habitat change,disease, floods, droughts, trappers and predation from air, water and land. I doubt if any one cause is the answer.

  2. True enough, but I wonder if a decline this drastic can be attributed to a normal fluctuation in population? Seems like something big is going on. Whatever it is, I sure hope things swing the other way. Many young trappers get their start on muskrats!

  3. Muskrat numbers seem to be up this year here in western Iowa but, nothing compared to what they were in the 1970's and early 80's. Here is a link to a line graph that I drew up using Iowa DNR harvest numbers. There is definately something happening to muskrats.

  4. Thanks for the link arcman. Muskrat populations are definitely down in my neck of the woods. I really hope they bounce back...there's nothing more fun than muskrat trapping!