For the full article, with links, visit Local In Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor’s burgeoning deer population has become a problem that our community will be discussing and arguing over for quite a while. This page has a record of our posts and some resources on the issue.
Local In Ann Arbor posts
Oh, Deer! Ann Arbor’s Herd Problem December 3, 2014
Oh, Deer – Will Ann Arbor Find A Solution? December 15, 2014
Oh, Deer – Managing the Public December 17, 2014
Oh, Deer – The Survey January 31, 2015
Deer and the Community Conversation February 16, 2015
Deer and the Numbers Explosion February 24, 2015
Deer and the Vacuum Effect Fable March 8, 2015
Deer and the Web of Life March 26, 2015
Deer and the Flowers of the Earth May 31, 2015
Deer and the Population Problem August 4, 2015
Deer Management Project is the City of Ann Arbor web page where reports and announcements are available.
May, 2015: Here is the staff report Deer Management Recommendations which includes analysis of the survey and of possible methods to address deer overabundance in Ann Arbor without the lengthy appendices included in the version on the city page.
August, 2015: Here is the official City of Ann Arbor press release outlining the deer management program as passed by City Council 8-1 on August 17, 2015.
Washtenaw Citizens for Ecological Balance is a continuously updated website that has both local news and many resources, including studies and what other communities have done to address deer overpopulation.
Here is the informative flyer that WC4EB distributed at the February 5, 2015 public meeting. (Click on the hyperlink to download a pdf of the flyer.) The flyer is a broad outline of the issue and includes the WC4EB proposals for what the City of Ann Arbor should do to address the problem.
NEW: WC4EB produced this report, A COMMUNITY-ENDORSED DEER MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN, which was included in the April 15 City of Ann Arbor report which is available on the City web page. The link here is to the white paper prepared by WC4EB alone.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has the responsibility to manage the state’s deer population. The major policy driver is the wish to supply a good hunting environment (a good supply of desirable deer). However, other factors are taken into consideration. The state is divided into Deer Management Units (DMU) and fine-tuning is exercised in each of these. The principal tool is issuance of hunting permits. See this page for a map of all DMU in Michigan, with links to reports that explain special circumstances and reasoning. “Antlerless” deer are does and first-year bucks. Extra hunting permits are issued for antlerless deer where control of the deer population has become desirable.
Washtenaw County was DMU 81 for 2014. The Deer Management/Status Overview for DMU 081 contains much information about the county from a deer management viewpoint.
The DNR has wildlife biologists who study and track deer population dynamics. Kristin Bissell is the biologist who oversees DMU 81. Here is an email K. Bissell December 2014 that she sent in response to a question about the use of contraception for deer population management after the December meeting. She mentions that no contraceptive agent has been licensed for use in Michigan. Also, any such experiment would involve extensive monitoring and data collection. Finally, it would not reduce the deer population.
In addition, if the goal involves reducing the deer population, simply applying contraceptives will not accomplish this. Contraceptives may only address fecundity rates of deer, and would have to be effective on a sufficient number of deer for a sufficient amount of time until sources of mortality reduced the population to the desired size.
Deer Management History in Michigan is a useful historical overview showing how deer populations have fluctuated with different management policies, often with conflicting aims (good hunting vs. environmental protection and herd health).
Lyme Disease is caused by a bacterium carried by deer ticks. It has serious chronic health consequences if not caught early. We reviewed this in a recent post. This Deer, ticks and Lyme disease fact sheet has a comprehensive overview of the relationship between Lyme disease and deer density.
In the local media
Damn Arbor blog: Oh Deer December 10, 2014
Ann Arbor Chronicle:
County Expands Natural Area Preservation March 8, 2014
Ann Arbor Acts on Deer Problem May 5, 2014
Ann Arbor OKs $20K to create Deer Plan August 18, 2014
Ann Arbor News:
Summary list of articles
Ann Arbor Observer:
Our Deer are Mostly Ann Arborites February 2015
The Advocacy Controversy
A recent article in the Ann Arbor News discussed the controversy over the campaign conducted by the Humane Society of Huron Valley against the decision by Ann Arbor’s City Council to conduct a lethal cull of deer this winter.
Here are the two letters that are quoted in the article.
The letter criticizing the campaign is from local attorney Thomas Wieder, who has been involved in many community and political issues for decades.
The other letter is the response from Tanya Hilgendorf, the Executive Director of the HSHV.