The use of surgical sterilization of female White-tailed Deer in Highland Park, Illinois from 2002-2005 (read the article). The study, prepared by scientists and veterinarians from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Milwaukee County Zoo found that “tubal ligation, by ventral laparotomy, provides a safe, humane form of sterilization with low mortality in White-tailed Deer. The ability to capture, chemically immobilize and perform surgery on wild deer, under field conditions, was highly successful.”
This study showed that the population level goal of five deer per mile could be maintained over time if an average of 32% of the female deer were sterilized per year. Under these circumstances, long-term maintenance would require sterilizing just six does per year (really– just 6 does? I have that many running through just my yard every day, think they have that number wrong– or else a real small deer herd) until the effects of sterilization halted population growth. In 2005, the estimated cost per deer was approximately $750 per animal (in 2002-2005!). Click to download the 52-page report for more information about this study and their findings.
With this information we can extrapolate VERY Conservatively!
Would you believe a $half-million, following these assumptions:
50 deer per sq mile x28 sq miles in Ann Arbor =1400 deer
1400 x .5 = 700 does
700 x.95 = 665 does to sterilize
665 does x $750 (in 2005 dollars) per procedure = $498,750 for the first year.
Reading the article, it says that the $750 was for drugs and veterinarian costs.
Don’t know if that includes “Necessary personnel included a minimum of three persons for deer immobilization, and at least two (one of whom is the veterinarian) persons for anesthetic monitoring and surgery.” The traps and the people who have to set the traps, gather in the deer, and monitor them afterwards…. It seems the police department were the ones doing all this– also on the city’s dime– but not accounted for in costs.
The article also mentioned a higher mortality rate for the does that had been sterilized