Suburbs stretching into deer habitat

Human and wildlife conflicts associated with growing deer populations have increased significantly in the past two decades, specifically white-tailed deer (Odocoileus Virginianus). Being a larger animal they require more land, food, and resources then other wildlife and as a result are capable of causing more damage when they interact with humans. Some of the potential problems with humans expanding into deer habitat are increased car collisions, attacks on people and pets, property damage, and health concerns such as Lyme disease. In one year, State farm paid 3.8 billion dollars in claims involving deer collisions in the United States.

As deer become too crowded and accustomed to human presence, attacks have become more common. Deer are particularly aggressive two times a year; during the rut or mating season and during fawning season. The following attacks that occurred in late 2005 early 2006 at the Southern Illinois University-Carbondale campus were during fawning season and were later determined to be the work of one aggressive Doe. Thirteen confirmed deer attacks were reported on students, staff, and police with injuries ranging from cuts and bruises to broken bones and stitches as reported by The Daily Illini.

Courtesy of Missoulian,
Courtesy of Missoulian

The main way that Cities are trying to control the local deer populations is through urban deer culls. This approach is generally met with opposition from deer friendly humane societies because it only temporarily reduces deer populations and has to be repeated annually. Some cities have had success though, in Jackson City, Michigan the 8th straight year of culling deer began two weeks ago on January 23rd with the hopes of removing upwards of 75 deer by mid February.

Throughout this blog I will analyze the media that is covering reports of deer and human conflict. One of the main advocates for deer that is working with cities to find a more permanent solution is the National Deer Alliance. Mainly through social media, they are able to reach people who otherwise would be unaware this problem.


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