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Aggressive Deer Dissuasion: Effective Solutions

Solutions for isolated deer populations

As human development continues to challenge wild habitat there are increasing occurrences of deer populations that become isolated in small parks or other public lands while residential and commercial development surrounds them They become, effectively, captive populations. Deprived of normal range, the ability to move away from over-browsed areas and into more fertile, open areas, such populations may critically exceed the support of their habitat.

Very often, such deer become tame and dependent on human handouts to supplement browse. They become so accustomed to human contact that their reintroduction into an area where hunting occurs would be akin to hunting household pets. Capture and release projects have a troubled history of animal injuries, trauma, expense and are often ineffective.

Immunocontraception products have potential when used as a part of a comprehensive plan. (Field testing of immunocontraception on white-tailed deet (Odocoileus virginianus) on Fire Island National Seashore, New York, USA; R.E. Naugle, et al). Depending on local circumstances, elements of such a plan may include road safety improvements (as described above), strategic feeding (to sustain a population in transition while encouraging a broader range) and safe egress corridors (to encourage trapped populations to leave parks and return to wild lands). Ideally, as contraception reduces herd size, planned, well-disbursed and varied feeding stations sustain and disburse the deer, while safe egress corridors (along creek beds, for example) allow the deer to return to more wild areas. Such safe egress corridors should be accompanied by a hunting moratorium to assure successful movement of the deer and allow the population to transition from tame to wild.

Such plans can be developed and implemented locally by coalitions including local governments, academic institutions and non-governmental organizations engaged in wildlife issues. It is important for communities to begin to recognize the ever-growing animal protection community and include it as stakeholders in the discussion, on committees and in the decisions..

Go on to: Humane management

Wildlife Watch, Inc.
(845) 256-1400
wildwatch@verizon.net
www.wildwatch.org  

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