We speak for the environment, both for ourselves and wildlife
Port Jefferson plans deer cull, as deer population is estimated at up to 500, Newsday, April 23, 2019Port Jefferson plans to have its first deer cull next winter to contend with what officials say is a marked increase of bucks, does and fawns in the North Shore village. Village residents are fed up with seeing deer grazing in their yards and crashing into them on Port Jefferson’s narrow, winding roads. She estimated the village has become home to 400 to 500 deer, which congregate mostly in the community’s rustic eastern section near the Port Jefferson Country Club. Some North Shore residents say they have seen 20 to 30 deer at a time, munching on their vegetable gardens, and officials said collisions between cars and deer have spiked in recent years. Garant said about 30 village residents at a recent community meeting were unanimous in supporting the cull.
Rising Deer Population Colliding with Staten Island Drivers, Spectrum News1, Oct 12, 2018“About 15 years ago, there was a young boy that came in, he had been involved in an accident. And when they put the claim in they did not believe that he had hit a deer. They said it was absolutely impossible that he could have hit a deer on Staten Island. And now look at how many years later — and we get collisions in here all the time,” she recalled.
Southold to address overabundance of roaming deer, LI News, Sept 11, 2018Town officials say the only way to attack the problem is to expand hunting. “Ideally, what we are looking for is landowners to maybe open up their land, their properties to hunting. That way we can move out of the preserves and into those fringe areas where the deer like it,” says Southhold Town Supervisor Scott Russell.
Thoughts on Lyme disease and ticks (commentary), SILive, Aug 6, 2018Ticks are capable of carrying and transmitting various pathogens, including Lyme disease – that fact is proven and undisputed. Of less certainty and subject to some controversy, however, is how best to effectively lower the incidence of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, by diminishing or eradicating the local tick population. We share the opinion articulated by many actual experts that deer, too, play a vital role in this unfortunate saga. Yes, young ticks (nymphs) do feed off mice and chipmunks, but as they age and mature into adult ticks, they most certainly feed on deer as well. The blood meal that deer provide is critical and allows female adult ticks to lay thousands of eggs.
Given that fact, Dr. Sam Telford, from the Department of Infectious Disease and Global Health at Tufts University, argues that reducing the deer population is a key component in managing tick populations.
Removing dead deer only part of the solution (commentary), SILive, Aug 4, 2018If a deer is found dead on public land, the authorities will cart it away. But on private property? That’s the homeowner’s problem. Which never made sense. Sure, if I see a cat or similar-sized animal run over and killed in the street in front of my home, of course I’m going to bag it and put it in with the trash. That’s a manageable thing. But a deer? That’s a whole different ballgame. They don’t make garbage bags big enough for a corpse that size. And I’d need a forklift to move it.
But the real problem isn’t removal of dead deer, it’s the live deer roaming among us. We have to keep attacking that problem. Because deer don’t belong here, not even in somewhat bucolic Staten Island. They destroy vegetation, are a hazard to drivers and, most importantly, help spread Lyme disease, an illness we’re seeing more and more of in recent years as the deer population has swelled.
Judge throws out suit challenging Fire Island deer-management plan, Newsday, July 27, 2018A federal judge has thrown out an animal rights group’s lawsuit challenging the Fire Island National Seashore’s plan to use hunters to curb the barrier island’s population of white-tailed deer. U.S. District Court Judge Sandra J. Feuerstein, who sits in Central Islip, closed a case filed last year by Friends of Animals, which had argued that the agency’s plan to cull the population of white-tailed deer violated federal law because its architects did not consider “an alternative that utilizes only nonlethal options.”
Jamestown City Council Continues Deer Management Discussion, Post-Journal, June 28, 2018Tom Nelson, Ward 6 councilman, said he receives more calls about deer management than any other issue. He agreed the deer management permits is a good place to start with possibly managing the population of deer in the city.
Thinking about a hike? Ticks are so bad ‘go see a movie instead’, USA Today, June 22, 2018Thinking about spending the weekend outside? The threat from disease-carrying ticks is so bad that residents are being warned to maybe go catch a movie instead. Fordham University’s Louis Calder Center generates a “tick index” throughout the summer, based on how many of the critters biologists find. “Ticks are fairly abundant” when the index reaches the 4-6 range, as it was only a week ago. This weekend it’s at 8. Residents are advised to “limit exposure and use extreme caution.
New York Today: Time to Talk Ticks, NYTimes, June 7, 2018The project surveyed the five boroughs and found the most ticks on Staten Island, some in Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx and a small number in Queens. They did not find any in Central Park, “and we don’t expect them to be there because there are no deer,” Dr. Diuk-Wasser said. “The key is really deer.”
DEC Wildlife Biologist Provides Deer Management Presentation, Options for City, WRFA, May 8, 2018The Jamestown City Council learned more about the causes of the area’s growing deer population and what can be done to try and reduce it during a presentation Monday night during a council work session. “The basic way to encourage hunting and to facilitate population reduction through hunting is to give hunters property access in areas where the deer are. So from a city perspective, one way to increase access is to remove the ordinance [that bans hunting within city limits]” and allow hunters access to residents’ lands with the permission of the property owner. Other options include instituting a culling program, which involves various steps such as baiting, night time hunting, and even capture and killing the animals.
The birds and the bees are bucking NYC’s deer-control program, New York Post, April 3, 2018In its first two years, the program to neuter white-tailed Richmond County bucks nipped 1,154 of them. But it only takes a few of the fellows to keep the does reproducing. The Parks Department says the area held more bucks than thought, perhaps 2,200. Which means Year Three won’t reach the goal of sterilizing 98 percent of the lads. Then, too, does in heat release a scent that can bring unaltered bucks swimming across the Arthur Kill from Jersey.
In nature, predators limit deer populations, but the top predator in these parts won’t put up with wolves or other deer-killers — and urban liberal sensibilities quail at just shooting the Bambis. Which leaves the white-tailed ranks booming: The count has grown 9,000 percent since 2008, a plague for gardeners and a menace to motorists.
Lyme disease surge: Why our deer problem really matters (commentary), SILive, April 14, 2018From 2012 to 2016 Staten Island saw a 250 percent rise in cases of Lyme disease — the sharpest jump in the disease of the five boroughs over the last five years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Now we’ve got a public health problem, and that’s something that the city needs to take very seriously. While it’s true that getting rid of all the deer might not eradicate Lyme disease here because ticks travel on other animals as well, it certainly would be a good first step.
The Parks Department says the area held more bucks than thought, perhaps 2,200. Which means Year Three won’t reach the goal of sterilizing 98 percent of the lads. Then, too, does in heat release a scent that can bring unaltered bucks swimming across the Arthur Kill from Jersey.
Long Island’s deer population moving west, News12, April 1, 2108The New York Department of Environmental Conservation says the deer population is growing, and as more land is developed out east, they are moving west to Nassau County. The department says the growing population could be a problem, as deer are a major part of the life-cycle of ticks.
DEC seeks public input on deer population, management in new statewide survey, Rome Sentinel, Feb 22, 2018Area residents are among the first group being asked to participate in a new statewide survey seeking public opinion on interests and concerns relating to the deer population and how it is managed by the state, topics include the extent of interest in deer viewing or hunting; types of concerns about deer such as damage they can cause; and whether deer population sizes should be changed. The mailing includes a postage-paid response. The survey is sponsored by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), working with Cornell University’s Human Dimensions Research Unit (HDRU).
Sharp rise in Lyme disease spurs new action by Donovan, SILive, Feb 6, 2018“Tick-borne diseases are only getting worse in our community. The medical field has a lot of work to do, but they need lawmakers to deliver the required resources and right policies,” Donovan said in a prepared statement. “I thank Bob Sabatino for working with me so diligently, and I look forward to collaborating with my colleagues in the Lyme disease caucus to deliver solutions to this growing health crisis.”
Who ya supposed to call? Deerbusters??? (commentary), SILink, Jan 27, 2018But what if I don’t feel safe letting my kids or my pet out into the yard with a deer or three out there? What about deer ticks that carry damaging Lyme disease? We’re just supposed to shrug it off?
The least government officials can do is come up with some kind of coordinated protocol for handling deer calls. The deer population wasn’t been a problem in the past, so we didn’t need a protocol. It’s a problem now, so we do.
Town of Ithaca prepares for potential war on deer, Ithaca.com, Jan 24, 2018Four years after the issue was raised as something worthy of study, the Town Of Ithaca Deer Management Committee had its inaugural meeting Tuesday evening, holding the first of what are anticipated numerous discussions on ways to address a rising deer population in the town and the environmental impacts they’d had on the area’s farms and forests.
The plan, which called for the sterilization and killing of deer by professional hunting firm. Results were seen in relatively short order, Woodard said: according to a case study of the Cayuga Heights deer management program, a total of 152 does (100 percent of all female deer) were sterilized between 2012 and 2013, with an additional five sterilized in 2016 and, over a two year period beginning in 2015, White Buffalo removed 72 males by way of crossbow. “Since we’ve started this program, we have not had a deer-car collision in the village (of Cayuga Heights),” said Woodard.
Deer invasion: South Shore residents can’t use their yards, SILive, Jan 23, 2018About several years into their move, Jedrezyk says they began to notice deer wandering into their yards every now and then. The encounters at first were friendly and infrequent, Jedrezyk recalls, and his family enjoyed seeing them. But they began to notice the deer were getting more and more comfortable in their backyard. Within the last two years, Jedrezyk says the deer have now taken over his yard and the wooded area behind his home, eating away at the bushes and plants he and his wife invested thousands of dollars in and leaving behind feces and a trail of urine after each visit.
DeWitt begins deer reduction program through March 31, LocalSYR.com, Jan 15, 2018Town Supervisor Ed Michalenko says three years of study went into this decision with consultation from the US Department of Agriculture, SUNY ESF and Cornell Cooperative Extension. The Town Board adopted a Deer Management Plan in October 2017 and subsequently received a Nuisance Permit from NYS DEC permitting the town to conduct a cull and harvest of antler-less deer. Now through March 31, DeWitt will be conducting the plan across the Town with the deer cull phase to occur on both private and public lands.
“For the first couple of years, it’s probably going to be fairly intensive. And then once we start to lower deer populations numbers, then hopefully it will revert to more of a maintenance program than an actual reduction.” Michalenko tells NewsChannel 9. While “natural” levels for deer are generally accepted to be approximately 8.5 per square mile, some areas of DeWitt have approximately 85 deer per square mile.
Deer crisis deepens. Here’s how we got into this mess (commentary), SILive, Jan 10, 2018So, just how many deer are there on Staten island. In January of 2008. Assemblyman Michael Cusick (D-Mid-Island) joined with Joseph Pane, Wildlife Manager the state Department of Environmental Conservation and Susan Mattei, DEC Regional Director, to announce a survey to count the deer. DEC would later estimate the deer population at 24. New city survey, announced in February of 2017, says that the Island’s deer population is 1,600. Just two months later, another survey puts the number at between 1,918 and 2,188. In October of 2018, it’s announced that the number of collisions between deer and vehicles have nearly doubled in just two years.
Deer crisis deepens. Here’s how we got into this mess (commentary), SILive, Jan 10, 2018So, just how many deer are there on Staten island. In January of 2008. Assemblyman Michael Cusick (D-Mid-Island) joined with Joseph Pane, Wildlife Manager the state Department of Environmental Conservation and Susan Mattei, DEC Regional Director, to announce a survey to count the deer. DEC would later estimate the deer population at 24. New city survey, announced in February of 2017, says that the Island’s deer population is 1,600. Just two months later, another survey puts the number at between 1,918 and 2,188. In October of 2018, it’s announced that the number of collisions between deer and vehicles have nearly doubled in just two years.
Deer population booms, relatively tame on Binghamton University’s campus, PressConnects, Jan 2, 2018“I believe it’s the same one that was out there on the trail with all these runners coming though, and he sees them but does not move. I actually had to chase him out of there, and even that was difficult — he wouldn’t move for me. He just waited until the last second, then ran off.” What’s behind the fearless and frankly unnatural behavior? Deer overpopulation. It’s hardly a new problem, but it’s definitely one that’s getting worse. The campus makes a nice home, with almost no natural predators and no hunters to thin the herd. The resulting ecological imbalance — with deer eating pretty much anything that offers even the barest hint of nutrition — has changed the BU landscape, particularly in the Nature Preserve.
Deer overpopulation remains a contentious topic at Binghamton University, PressConnect, Jan 2, 2018“There’s a bit of debate about how low you want the deer population to be,” Horvath said in a recent interview. “It seems to be 10 to 15 deer per square mile if you have a healthy, balanced ecosystem. If you want the ecosystem to recover, it needs to be less — maybe eight per square mile.
Extended Deer Hunting Seasons On Long Island, DEC Says, Patch.com. Dec 29, 2017Extended seasons to address deer overabundance help hunters fill freezers, donate venison to the needy, and balance the ecosystem, DEC says. Vassar to hold deer cull in January; groups to protest, Poughkeepsie Journal, Dec 29, 2017Activists on Sunday plan to protest the cull, which college officials say is a necessary part of the school’s ongoing program to manager the deer population at its farm and preserve. According to Vassar, as of March 2017, the estimated deer population was 42 animals per square mile before fawns were born. The college said the optimal number is 10 to 20 deer per square mile. The continued overabundance of deer is an environmental hazard, the college asserts, claiming trees and plants are at risk because they are a popular food source for deer.
Freezer still empty? DEC allowing late-season deer hunt, with a catch, Democrat and Chronical, Dec 27, 2017On Friday, the agency announced that a late-season hunt for antlerless deer will be open Jan. 13 through 31 in the Deer Management Focus Area in Tompkins County in the central part of the state. “Areas where we have extended seasons to address problems with deer overabundance provide a great opportunity for hunters to fill their freezers, donate venison to the less fortunate, and help bring ecosystems back into balance,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos in a written statement.
Witness to a deer strike: Shocking sight on a busy street (commentary), SILive, Dec 3, 2017We recently reported that there has been a massive increase in deer strikes on Staten Island roads. And after seeing one up close, the point has to be made again: Do we have to wait until someone is injured or killed before more aggressive action is taken to control the booming deer population on Staten island?
Conservation groups sue over Fire Island deer culling plan, Newsday, Nov 29, 2017Newark-based Wildlife Preserves and Washington-based Animal Welfare Institute filed the suit Wednesday in the U.S. District Court’s Eastern District, which includes Long Island. The organizations are protesting provisions of a plan released in December 2015, which seeks to control the deer population, since they have no natural predators on the barrier island. Those measures, which include hunting, birth control and fencing, came in response to complaints and evidence that the deer are destroying native vegetation and threatening the rare Sunken Forest maritime holly forest.
Culling Village Deer May Be Ahead, EastHanpton Star, Nov 16, 2017The East Hampton Village Board has moved closer in recent weeks to allowing highly managed hunting as a means of reducing the number of deer. This is a brave position. Opponents of deer hunts, while perhaps few in number, are vocal and unyielding. Hunting is the only population-control method consistently shown to work, however, and it has been used as an environmental management tool for decades.
Staten Island Neighborhood Split Over Deer Feeders, CBSNewYork, Nov 16, 2017But some of Toro’s neighbors on Graham Avenue have installed deer feeders on trees across the street. The parks department estimates there are about 2,000 deer on Staten Island alone. The city sterilizes and tags male deer to keep the population under control. Some people say if they’re already sterilized, what’s the harm in giving them food? Others lament the free food negates city initiatives and attracts more deer to the block. Not to mention, it’s against state law.
DeWitt adopts bait-and-cull deer management plan, Eagle News online, Oct 30, 2017The DeWitt Town Board has unanimously adopted a white-tailed deer management plan, which includes the use of USDA sharpshooters, and hunts could start sometime this winter. For the past six months, the DeWitt Neighborhood Deer Committee (DNDC) has been working with environmental officials and employees of the town to create a deer management plan to reduce the number of deer within the town. The document outlines the need for deer management, methods for tick management and both lethal and non-lethal deer management techniques the group has researched.
What’s next in NY’s Lyme disease fight, PressConnects, Oct 27, 2-17The state Health Department reported there are approximately 8,000 cases of Lyme disease each year in New York. The task force plans to address the tick problem in New York by raising awareness for tick-borne diseases, educating the public about the signs and symptoms of tick illnesses, warning about the dangers of tick bites, and promoting more testing for people, especially children who show signs of a tick-borne disease. “With New York sitting at the epicenter of the tick-borne disease epidemic, we have a duty to engage partners at every level to act swiftly and efficiently to improve outcomes for the thousands of patients suffering around the state,” said Sen. Kemp Hannon, R-Nassau County, in a statement.
Bill To Address Deer Overpopulation, Co-Sponsored By Assemblyman Thiele, Is On Governor’s Desk, 27East.com, Oct 24, 2017A bill aiming to help mitigate the negative effects of deer overpopulation statewide recently passed the State Legislature and is awaiting action by the governor. According to Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., a co-sponsor of the bill, deer overpopulation leads to increased levels of traffic accidents and home property damage, and helps facilitate the spread of tick-borne illnesses. The bill was approved in the Assembly, 131-1. As part of the legislation, the DEC report must evaluate alternative methods for population control other than traditional hunting, such as euthanasia, capture and removal, and sterilization. In addition, the DEC would evaluate methods to mitigate crop and vegetation damage caused by deer, and property damage, such as vehicle collisions.
Case Of Deadly Tick-Borne Virus Reported In Hudson Valley, Armonk Daily Voice, Oct 21, 2017Over the summer, a man died after contracting the Powassan virus from a tick in Saratoga County. Two other Saratoga residents were later diagnosed with the virus. The confirmation of the disease in Dutchess is now the fourth in New York State this year. There have been only 27 confirmed cases of the disease in New York since 2000. There is no specific treatment, but people with severe POW virus illnesses often need to receive respiratory support, intravenous fluids, or medications to reduce swelling in the brain, the CDC said.
Deer disaster just a matter of time; action needed now (commentary), SILive, Oct 8, 2017As the city continues is long-term vasectomy strategy to reduce Staten Island’s booming deer population, the problem is growing more critical by the day. Just days after reporting a huge increase in collisions with deer on borough roadways, there was a frightening and potentially deadly encounter on New Dorp Lane.
Staten Island deer kill was backed by state and feds, Oddo says, SILive, Oct 4, 2017Ultimately the city decided to sterilize hundreds of Staten Island bucks. More than 875 vasectomies have been performed on them since the program began last year. An unrestrained deer herd can harm parks and private property, spread tick-borne illness like Lyme disease and wander into roads more often, increasing the risk for deadly vehicle collisions. Manipulating deer fertility is only permitted by the state as part of scientific research. The state Department of Environmental Conservation approved the city’s vasectomy program last year.
WATCH: Deer Runs Wild Through Staten Island Store, CBSNY, Oct 3, 2017Customers shopping at a clothing boutique on Staten Island got quite a scare Monday when a deer darted into the store. “It was ramming into the door. It was hitting the mirrors,” In Phase Fashions owner Margaret Cavuto told Roy. “People were hiding in different spots.” She said it caused thousands of dollars in damages after spending about an hour wandering through the store until police and park rangers were able to tranquilize the animal. Sources later told CBS2 specialists determined the deer had sustained life-threatening injuries and was put down.
DEC questions how NY communities kill deer, other nuisance wildlife, NYup.com, Aug 30, 2017The nuisance permits that are issued by the state Department of Environmental Conservation for these programs – specifically, the methods in the permits that are being allowed — are currently being reevaluated by the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Some of those methods could be discontinued or modified, at least until the state’s environmental laws are changed.
Fayetteville deer control looks hopeful despite permit changes, LocalSRY.com, Aug 17, 2017So far deer numbers are down 30 percent [with DEC sharpshooters] and neighbors believe the program is still needed to continue reducing the deer and tick problem. The goal is to bring the population down to eight deer per square mile.
Staten Island’s Deer Population May Not Have Dropped This Year, City Says, DNAInfo, July 20, 2017STATEN ISLAND — An aerial survey found 266 fewer deer living in Staten Island than last year, but officials warned it doesn’t necessarily mean the population has decreased. In February, the Parks Department conducted a second aerial survey that expanded to include the entire borough, instead of just focusing on parkland, the Staten Island Advance first reported. The latest survey found only 527 white-tailed deer in the borough, down from the 793 found in parkland in 2014, according to the Parks Department.
“The aerial surveys conducted in 2014 and 2016 confirmed that deer are present on Staten Island and illustrated expanding patterns of distribution, providing data necessary to the City’s deer management strategy,” a spokeswoman for the agency said in a statement.
However, the Parks Department said that it hadn’t found evidence of deer dying off or migrating out of Staten Island and the numbers don’t mean the population has decreased. The survey only gives a minimum population number for deer and the planes have a better chance of spotting the animals when flying on cloudy days, which they did in 2014. In 2016, the surveys were done on days with clear skies, Parks said.
Saddle River committee proposes capturing, spaying deer, North Jersey.com, June 21, 2017A committee charged with creating a non-lethal plan to control the town’s deer population has submitted a proposal that its chairman says would result in the sterilization of 95 percent of the town’s female deer within a year. Cerf believes the borough would be able to raise money for a non-lethal program through private donations, along with support from animal rights organizations that have offered funding. He estimates the proposal would cost about $200,000, or $1,000 per deer.
Syracuse deer count underway in effort to start curbing herd growth, WRVO, June 21, 2017“Deer population can actually -under ideal conditions- can double in under three years,” Underwood said. “That’s how fast they can reproduce. I’m speculating here, but I fully expect the deer population has made pretty substantial increases since the last time.” This deer counting is being paid for by a state grant in the wake of concern over Lyme Disease, which can be transmitted by deer ticks.
Sharpshooters? Birth control? How will next mayor tackle Syracuse’s deer problem?, Syracuse.com, June 19, 2017
A 2014 study by SUNY ESF estimated 220 deer living on the east side of Syracuse and the Town of DeWitt. The state recently put aside $200,000 to address the problem. Of that, $150,000 went to SUNY ESF to study the problem and develop a plan. The remaining $50,000 will be used for implementation.
Why parents are sending their kids to school with bug spray, New York Post, May 20, 2017Staten Island parents worried about Lyme disease and a rare but deadly new virus are adding insect repellent to the daily knapsack list as an explosion of ticks infests schoolyards. The anxiety is matched by their anger at the city for failing to take preventive measures. Staten Island’s deer population has been expanding unchecked for a decade — and the number of disease-carrying deer ticks has skyrocketed with it. The city’s latest estimate pegged the herd at 2,122, or 112 per square mile. “You see an ecological cascade when deer come into a system that had none for 100 years,” said ecologist Kevin Heatley, who studied the city’s deer, and warned of the arachnid invasion, in 2015. “One effect is going to be an increase in the number of ticks.”
Deer herd increased 9,000% in 9 years on Staten Island, SLive, April 21, 2017Roaming the borough are between 1,918 and 2,188 deer, according to a new estimate from the city contractor giving vasectomies to borough bucks. That’s about four times the city’s last count and a 9,000 percent increase in the herd since 2008. A Parks Department contractor performed vasectomies on 642 adult bucks and 78 younger, non-breeding male deer without antlers during the first season of the city’s three year plan to cut down Staten Island’s herd.
Supervisor Dougherty optimistic about state money to battle ticks, Shelter Island Reporter, Feb 27, 2017The state has twice come through with $100,000 for the town to use to keep the 4-poster program — feeding stands that brush deer with a tickicide, permethrin — operating. But last year, the town received a $25,000 grant, not the $100,000 it had previously received, which forced allocation of more town money to the 4-poster program.
Deer count? Vasectomy program points to a huge boom, SILive, Feb 16, 2017There are likely well over 1,600 deer living in the borough now — more than three times the city’s last count and a 6,680 percent increase in the herd since 2008. The city believes the herd is now growing mostly through reproduction, not migration onto the Island. Sterilizing males instead of females is meant to be faster, cheaper and more humane. White Buffalo is being paid $2 million this fiscal year for the work. The contract is for up to $3.3 million over a three year research study.
560 Deer Sterilized as Part of City Vasectomy Plan, News2 NY, Jan 13, 2017The plan to reduce the number of deer here in the borough has garnered plenty of attention. It involves trapping male deer, performing vasectomies on them so they can’t reproduce, and then letting them back into the wild.
Syracuse Residents Hope for Deer Management Plan, Spectrum News, Jan 2, 2017“They’ve kind of lost their animal behavior,” Finch said. “They’re not afraid of humans anymore. They just walk day and night around the front yards and the back yards.”
Finch and her neighbors have tried various forms of self management — from netting to sprays and sensors. “There’s nothing we can really do to prevent the deer from roaming the streets,” she said.
Deer: Impact Management Plan, Wildlife NYC, 2016The City has developed an integrated, non-lethal, site-specific management plan that will allow experts to take immediate steps to reduce future impacts of an over-abundant deer population. Working at night, a team from White Buffalo, Inc. is capturing, sterilizing, ear tagging and radio collaring deer across Staten Island. In addition, the team is monitoring deer to assess population dynamics like movement and mortality. As part of this assessment, New York City conducted an aerial survey of Staten Island green spaces in 2014, establishing a minimum population count of 763 deer over 18.7 square miles.
Harlem Deer Caught in City-State Tussle Has Died, New York Times, Dec 16, 2016A white-tailed deer that went from being a minor celebrity in Harlem to a cause célèbre after its capture, died in captivity on Friday, moments before it was to be driven upstate and released. The preliminary causes of death, according to a New York City parks spokesman, were stress and the day and a half that the deer spent at a city animal shelter in East Harlem.
The city’s vasectomy-only deer policy, a nationwide first, has been dismissed by wildlife experts as unfeasible. “You would have to get 90 to 95 percent of them for this to work,” White Buffalo’s Anthony DeNicola admitted to The Post last spring, due to the animals’ polyamorous habits. What’s more, even sterilized bucks stay revved up with lust throughout the mating season — which, some experts say, could continue for months if the does go into heat repeatedly. As the sex-crazed animals chase females and fight each other, dangerous encounters with humans increase.
In Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y., where Mr. King has installed many deer fences in the past few years, the village government had proposed culling the deer population through lethal means. But after a fierce backlash from some residents, the mayor decided to reduce the deer population through birth control, a time-consuming process that began in early 2014.
While about 50 deer have been tranquilized and injected with a contraceptive vaccine so far, residents have yet to see any marked change. And without similar efforts by neighboring Dobbs Ferry and Yonkers, it is unclear whether deer from those municipalities will simply move into Hastings-on-Hudson.
Avon Village Board targets growing population of deer in village, Livingston County News, Oct 28, 2016The mayor said the village must place its funding on higher priority projects such as remediating the flooding/drainage problems in the village and maintaining streets and sidewalks. Based on the evidence presented by the Trumansburg Village Board, a deer management program based on controlled hunting is relatively safe and cost effective.
Fayetteville authorizes another round of deer culling, Eagle News, Oct 26, 2016The Fayetteville Village Board this week voted unanimously to authorize the mayor to sign a cooperative service agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the village to undertake another deer culling program in 2017. This would be the second consecutive year in which the village partnered with the USDA for the program.
NYC launches effort to embrace wildlife, Poughkeepsie Journal, Oct 21, 2016The white-tailed deer commonly found on Staten Island has the potential to spread tick-borne illnesses, damage trees and plants and cause collisions among unsuspecting drivers.
Part of the impact management plan includes public education regarding living with deer, as well as a sterilization program for male deer through a partnership with White Buffalo, Inc, to control the population.
Deer vasectomy plan aims to cut Staten Island herd, YouTube, Sept 28,2016
NY state offers to help town of Rhinebeck with deer problem, Daily Freeman News, Aug 23, 2016In Rhinebeck, concerns have been raised by supporters for Ferncliff Forest, where deer regularly run in front of vehicles on River Road. Booth-Binczik also noted that tree damage caused by deer herds can have long-term negative impacts on wooded areas. “A healthy forest has a lot of young trees … saplings and seedlings,” she said. “When the old trees in the canopy, die the young trees grow up to take their place. If that layer is gone [because of deer eating the small trees], when the canopy trees die, the forest may just disappear.”
Deer vasectomy plan for Staten Island gets state OK, SILive, Aug 16, 2016Last week the state approved Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $2 million plan to perform vasectomies on male deer to control the borough’s herd. On Friday the state Department of Environmental Conservation issued the city’s contractor a license for surgical sterilization, tagging and radio collaring of Staten Island deer.
The DEC doesn’t recommend fertility control programs to mange deer populations because of their “limited effectiveness” and “inability to quickly reduce deer-human conflicts.” Mahar said that such programs are also expensive.
City flubs on Staten Island deer. Again (commentary), SILive.com, July 18, 2016Even the city acknowledges that the number is likely much higher than 527. Well, tell us something we don’t know. Given procreation rates, experts estimate that the number could be more than 1,000. They’ve been saying it for a couple of years now. This survey was supposed to give us a better handle on it all, to give us something close to a definitive number.
$2M deer vasectomy plan leaps forward, SILive, June 7, 2016If the city’s plan works, all male deer roaming the borough would be sterilized starting with a $2 million effort during this fall’s rutting season. Hundreds of bucks would be tranquilized, captured, given vasectomies and released back onto Staten Island parkland over the course of the three-year study.
City’s deer strategy misses the target (editorial), SILive, May 17, 2016A deer specialist at the Michigan Department of Natural Resources — which had to approve the Ann Arbor cull — called the Staten Island sterilization plan “short-sighted.” “This is a future solution to a problem that exists today,” deer specialist Chad Stewart said.
The Parks Department plans to sterilize all male deer, starting with a $2 million effort during this fall’s mating season. Hundreds of bucks would be given vasectomies and released during the three-year study.
Plan to give deer vasectomies will result in ‘sex-crazed beasts’, New York Post, May 14, 2016In reality, female white-tailed deer go into heat in the autumn rutting season. They emit a powerful scent that attracts males, who chase them and battle each other until every last doe is pregnant. Normally, the rut lasts a month or two. But with bucks shooting blanks, the does will go into heat repeatedly throughout the fall and winter. They would become “buck magnets,” according to a Cornell study.
Deer management programs are reducing numbers but effects still need to be determined, WRVO Public Media, The Diane Rehm Show, May 12, 2016Any person or municipality that wants to shoot deer outside of the hunting season has to get permission from the DEC through a damage or nuisance permit. Several villages are already doing this to try to cut down on the risk of Lyme disease, which is spread by ticks carried by deer, and for other reasons. Those villages include Trumansburg, Hamilton and Fayetteville. Several more towns such as Onondaga, Owasco and DeWitt are also considering their own deer management programs.
Courtney LaMere, a biologist with the DEC, said deer population control does not always have to be done through a nuisance permit.
Chickens as a weapon against ticks? CNY village considers proposal, Syracuse.com, May 9, 2016Fayetteville is considering a proposal that would allow village residents to keep chickens on their property. The village’s Deer Management Committee, has submitted a formal proposal to the village board asking that chickens be permitted – a maximum of six chickens be permitted, and no roosters.
“There is a large volume of scientific and anecdotal evidence demonstrating chickens’ pest control ability as they love to eat ticks, flies, mosquitoes, lawn grubs, grasshoppers, parasites, and garden pests,” he said in the proposal. Cassel said chickens can help reduce the density of the tick population. As a deer committee member, Cassel said he’s committed to trying management techniques such as this.
Deer management tops agenda of county’s first legislative committee meeting held on the East End in many years, SoutholdLocal.com, May 2, 2016After extensive research the organization concluded that herd reduction is the only feasible management method that can make a lasting difference, she said. Kahan and Dries touched on the negative impacts of the deer population on the North Fork: destruction of the understory of forested lands; destruction of tree seedlings; water pollution from deer feces; costly agricultural crop losses; and the spread of tick-borne diseases. “The Centers for Disease Control lists 14 tick-borne diseases,” Dries said. “Suffolk County health officials have documented eight of them here in Suffolk.” Lyme Disease is just one of them.
‘Professional harvesting’ needed to reduce North Fork deer population to a level that won’t pose threat to human health: report, Southold Local, April 5, 2016Meaningful reduction of the deer herd on the North Fork is the only realistic way to control the serious tick-borne diseases infecting local residents, according to a report prepared by Southold Town’s tick working group. And the only way to achieve the reduction needed is to incorporate professional deer harvesting into any deer population management program, because recreational hunting cannot alone reduce the herd to a level that will not pose a threat to human health, the report concludes.
Tick committee: Increased hunting needed to cull the deer herd, Suffolk Times, April 4, 2017In a 24-page report filed with the Town Board Tuesday morning, the group concluded that deer are a main cause of an epidemic of tick-borne illnesses like Lyme disease and without increased hunting efforts, any attempt to quell the stop of tick-borne illnesses would be “destined to fail.”
Fayetteville reveals final count from recent deer culling, CNYcentral.com, April 4, 2016“I’m pleased that we were able to do something that our public said couldn’t be done…A lot of people are saying I still can’t believe you got it done.” said Olson. But the villages work is just really just getting started. “We already know from the activity level we saw from the camera sites that we didn’t….Why we had a good number and we did have a good culling…There is still a lot of deer in the village.” said Olson. The Village Board of Trustees is looking to conduct a flyover later this year to count the population before entering into another contract with the USDA.
Hunting deer in Fayetteville begins, LocalSYR.com, March 31, 2016The window for hunting is March 1 to March 31. Shooting will happen only on village-owned property, like public parks. The park’s dusk closing time will be enforced. The village’s goal is to have 8 or less deer per square mile.
Deer Work Faulted, East Hampton Star, March 24, 2016The village has spent approximately $190,000 on the effort to date, and critics have argued that the process is cruel and ineffective, and have claimed that the surgery resulted in several deaths.
“Responsible, well-planned hunting is by far the most successful way to control the deer population within the village and would be in keeping with the deer management plan of its neighbor, the Town of East Hampton,” Mr. O’Riordan said. Drugs or chemicals used in the capture and sterilization process, he said, could “compromise the safety of the meat of a legal game animal . . . denying state residents of their right to harvest an animal to feed themselves, their friends, and their relatives.”
De Blasio won’t rule out killing deer on Staten Island, SLive.com, March 7, 2016Preference is given to non-lethal methods in the analysis prepared by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and Wildlife Services. The city is also reviewing lethal controls, including shooting, hunting and euthanizing deer.
The North Fork’s exploding deer population: What can we do about it?, Southold Local, March 2, 2015The North Fork Deer Management Alliance of Long Island was formed to promote the return of the deer population of the North Fork to a level compatible with the health and safety of the human population and the environmental and economic integrity of the region, according to the group’s website. It seeks to educate the public to the effects of an unbridled deer population and hopes to gather support for the deer management programs of town, county and state.
Ghosio said he was struck by the recent characterization of the deer problem by The Nature Conservancy as “worse for our forests than global warming.” The environmental organization said the overabundance of deer is the greatest threats to forested habitats, greater than habitat conversion and climate change, Ghosio told fellow board members. “Only invasive exotic insects and disease are comparable in magnitude,” he said, quoting the group.
Fayetteville Deer Management Plan underway, CNYCentral.com, Feb 25, 2016The village is looking to manage the population of deer inside village limits in order to decrease cases of Lyme disease and vehicle-human conditions among other objectives. In January the village reached an agreement with the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and Wildlife Services (WS) to shoot white-tailed deer from elevated stands or parked cars in village designated safety-zones. Forward-looking infra-red camera’s will be used to detect deer.
County helps towns tackle deer problem, Local SYR.com, Feb 10, 2016Melissa Fellman, Zachary’s Mom, said, “He had shown up one morning in our room on a Monday morning with Bell’s Palsy, though we didn’t know what it was at the time. And we kind of freaked a little bit and went to the emergency room and they diagnosed him with Bell’s Palsy and said the leading cause of Bell’s Palsy in a child is Lyme Disease.” Zachary tested positive for lyme disease. His mom said there is a lot of deer where they live in Jamesville.
National Park Service mulls reducing Fire Island deer population, News12, Feb 12, 2016The National Park Service says there are more than 300 deer in just 8 square miles of the Fire Island seashore. “What we are working toward is a balanced ecosystem, that not only benefits future generations of national park visitors, but also the small mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians that rely on those habitats,” says Elizabeth Rogers, of the National Park Service.
How a fence created an ecological marvel , The Blade, Jan 17, 2016The former Seneca Army Depot here has a post-apocalyptic look in many places, where buildings are crumbling with decay and a growth of unruly vegetation is slowly swallowing the landscape. But behind its rusting 70-year-old perimeter fence is a wildlife phenomenon found nowhere else on the planet — a large herd of white deer.
Fayetteville to hire sharpshooters to control deer, Press-Connects, Jan 12, 2016The Onondaga County village of Fayetteville voted Monday night to hire professional sharpshooters from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and not use volunteer archers as originally planned.
Fayetteville close to using sharpshooters, not archers, to cull deer herd, Syracuse.com, Jan 11, 2016“We believe this will be a more effective and better means of culling the deer,” Olson said. “It’s quicker, it will be done by professionals who are trained and there is accountability this way. And then we don’t have to worry about using volunteers.”
USDA-APHIS has trained, professional sharpshooters on staff who have experience safely killing deer in culling programs in other parts of the country, Olson said.
Vassar to complete next deer cull soon despite protests, Poughkeepsie Journal, Jan 10, 2015Vassar College plans to complete its fourth deer cull since 2010 in the next two weeks, a population-control measure that has drawn renewed ire from a local animal rights group that has called upon the school to find alternative methods. East Hampton Approves New Hunting Areas For Skilled Hunters, 27East.com, Dec 22, 2015East Hampton Town has approved the allowance of bow hunting for deer on three town-owned tracts of land for hunters who are certified as especially proficient archers. Multi-vehicle accident on Rt. 219 caused by deer, WKBW, Dec 17, 2015Police say a car collided with a deer and that led to the multi-vehicle accident around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. It’s unclear how many vehicles were involved or if there were any injuries.
Investigation Sought Over East Hampton Deer Sterilizations, 27East.com, Dec 16, 2015An animal rights activist who has been a strident critic of East Hampton Village’s effort to surgically sterilize deer says that a complaint he filed over the program has been referred to the state Attorney General’s office by another state agency.
Tibetan Herders Help Manage Hamptons Deer Problem, Dans Papers, Dec 15, 2015No one seems to have a good plan on what to do with the excessively large number of deer that roam free in the Hamptons. Having hunters shoot them is opposed by back-to-nature groups. Having federal marksmen come and shoot them is opposed by back-to-nature groups, hunters and child welfare groups. Putting out food in feeding stations for them is opposed by motorists, right-wing Tea Party conservatives and everyone on food stamps. Darting them with sterilization chemicals is opposed by right to life members and proponents of the pure food and drug act. Hauling them off in trucks to the Adirondacks is opposed by people living in the Adirondacks. Letting them just run free is opposed by everyone who plants landscaping around their home.
Even a plan to spay the females has not worked out. An East Hampton organization called the East Hampton Group for Wildlife filed a suit against East Hampton Village last week regarding the village’s hiring a company that the Group for Wildlife claims essentially botched the job of spaying 114 female deer by, among other things, not using proper medical locations or attire when they did that job last fall, thus causing the female deer considerable pain and suffering.
Group wants to ‘save’ Staten Island deer from slaughter, SILive, Dec 1, 2015A group fighting to expel horse carriages from Central Park is hoping to save Staten Island’s deer from slaughter. “Hunting in New York City is neither a long-term nor a humane solution to managing the population of deer in Staten Island,” the petition reads. “The most humane and effective way to manage deer populations is through immunocontraceptives, an easily-implemented solution already proven to manage deer populations on Fire Island.” Despite what the petition claims, the assessment notes that immunocontraceptives have not been effective in reducing populations of free-ranging white-tailed deer over large geographical areas. The birth control is also expensive.
Deer Sterilization Effort Stirs Ire in NY’s Tony Hamptons, New York Times, Nov 21, 2015One backs an ongoing program to perform sterilization operations on deer them rather than kill them. And one is trying to shut it down, believing the surgeries are carried out in such a sloppy manner that they end up killing deer anyway.
A Plague of Bucks and Does on Staten Island, New York Times, Nov 20, 2015Last month, a stag reportedly gored a German shepherd named Sprocket, puncturing the dog’s lung with an antler. Two days later, one jumped through a window at a T.J. Maxx store, then bounded bloodied up and down the aisles of clothes.
What began as a novelty — a small, incongruous herd of almost-urban white-tailed deer — has, according to environmental officials and local leaders, become a safety issue as the animals have multiplied and their behavior has begun to put more drivers in this car-centric borough at risk. The increase in the deer population has also has divided Staten Island into several factions, including those who want to feed them peanut butter and those who want them dead.
Wildlife biologist: Why non-lethal means rarely work to control deer numbers, Syracuse.com, Nov 20, 2015Hamilton is scheduled to begin baiting and killing deer Dec. 23, using a bait and kill program with archers. Fayetteville is voting on a similar plan Monday night. Syracuse officials for the past few years have been talking and mulling their options as frustrated residents on the city’s east side await a solution.
I was involved in a project using anti-fertility drugs for 17 years on an island off the coast of Long Island. One of the big problems was getting access to all the females. Some were easy to get, others were extremely hard to find and dart. The birth control drugs are not all that expensive, but they do have to be injected annually. The big cost is you’re paying for someone’s time. On top of that, you won’t really start seeing an impact on a big herd for five or 10 years — and most communities don’t want to wait that long.
As for sterilization, the same time frame applies. Although sterilization is much more expensive than using anti-fertility drugs, you only have to use it once. So in the long run, the cost will be about the same. The problem once again, is capturing all the deer to perform the operation.
Deer Sterilization to Continue, East Hampton Star, Nov 12, 2015The first phase, in which approximately 114 deer were sterilized, was not without incident. In the spring, three of the animals suffered gruesome deaths that critics attributed to the surgery, which they contend was performed in unsanitary conditions. At least three more of the animals died as a consequence of capture or surgery.
Deer Control: DEC Plan Is Not Reducing Numbers Yet, Ithaca.com, Nov 4, 2015There’s lots of work left to do to get deer populations in balance. In close to villages, hunting programs have stemmed the flow, anecdotally speaking. Miller reports that deer are no longer “roaming everywhere” in Trumansburg after two years of hunting and are less of a danger on village streets. But Edwards, reports watching from a tree stand as 32 antlerless deer wandered by on the last day of the 2014 season, a number hungry hunters in other regions of the country could only imagine.
Hunters who were concerned the deer population would be annihilated by new bag limits had an idea “so far out of left field it never materialized,” said Blossey.
“When I’m thinking about success, I define it as the betterment of ecological conditions in forest and agricultural areas and suburbia,” Blossey said. “In that way, we really don’t know that anything has changed.”
“That should be the goal of deer management, not just reducing their numbers, but getting it down to a point where the effects for the forest are beneficial,” Blossey said. “I’d like to see some deer, but not at the expense of all the other organisms in the woods.”
Another thing deer carry is ticks, which contribute to Lyme disease. Here, again, Blossey said the literature is clear that heavy whitetail populations increase the spread of the bacteria.
Deer Sterilization Effort Begins Again In East Hampton Village, 27East.com, Nov 3, 2015Hunters and veterinarians hired by East Hampton Village have begun tranquilizing and sterilizing female deer from village properties for the second year in a row, despite concerns about deer deaths that occurred following last year’s effort.
Confused deer wreaks havoc on Staten Island store, New York Post, Nov 1, 2015A young two-point buck somehow made its way through a busy commercial strip to bust through the glass front door of a T.J. Maxx store early Saturday. The bewildered and bloodied Bambi then kicked its way through the Forest Avenue store’s glass vestibule and stampeded through the merchandise, bleeding copiously over clothes, bedding, and housewares. By the time police Emergency Services Unit and state conservation officers responded, the antlered animal had collapsed at the rear of the store. The state officers determined the deer’s injuries were too extensive for it to survive and euthanized the animal.
Deer breaks into T.J. Maxx, greets employee opening store, SILive, Oct 31, 2015She said an employee opening the store noticed that the window had been shattered and spotted a deer running around inside when she arrived for work at the Forest Avenue department store.
The NYPD’s Emergency Service Unit and members of the Department of Environmental Conservation responded, and the DEC removed the deer, she said.
Staten Island’s deer problem: Doing nothing is not an option (editorial), SILive, Oct 31, 2015Staten Island has become so overrun with deer that just this month, two deer were spotted in Brighton Beach and then Coney Island in Brooklyn. Wildlife management experts and Brooklyn officials believe, with good reason, that the animals reached the southwest corner of Brooklyn by swimming there from Staten Island.
The number deer has been allowed, as a result of official indifference, to skyrocket. A 2014 aerial survey found 763 deer on Staten Island and that represented a 3,000-percent jump over just a few years.
Injured deer walks into hospital emergency room, USA Today, Oct 27, 2015A deer, severely injured when it ran into a car Monday, wound up inside a local hospital. It wandered toward the hospital and through the automatic doors of the emergency department.
Lone deer considered safety risk in Brooklyn, so it was brought to Staten Island, SILive, Oct 23, 2015“It was determined that the deer posed a safety risk to the public and was captured by NYPD,” Kiernan said. “NYC Parks worked with the regulating authority State DEC to jointly determine that the most humane option in this case would be to relocate the animal to a more appropriate habitat.” The deer was released in a state park on Staten Island.
A 2014 aerial survey found 763 deer on Staten Island — a 3,000 percent jump in recent years. Some ecologists think there may be than 1,000 on the borough now.Local officials have been frustrated with the city’s slow response to the exploding deer population. They argue the deer could harm parkland, spread tick-borne illness and wander into more roads, endangering drivers.
Hastings deer control project looks for long-term results, lohud, Oct 10, 2015Hastings on Hudson is getting ready to start the third year of a five-year experiment to reduce its deer population through the use of birth control on local does. Over the past two years, researchers from the Humane Society of the United States have tagged 30 or so does and injected them with a contraceptive vaccine that renders them infertile for at least two years. While the animals are under anesthesia, they are marked with a numbered tag attached to an ear. Females are treated with an immunocontraceptive vaccine called porcine zona pellucida or PZP for short.
Note:Article suggests that PZP functions also as an abortificant as many of the does were probably impregnated during the rut season previous to their injection with PZP as was the case with Doe #1. She was reported walking down the streets of H on H with a little doe behind her.
Deer control: Rye, Mamaroneck go back to drawing board, lohud, Oct 9, 2015Rosenblum said he has discussed with some residents the possibility of implementing a sterilization program, similar to what Hastings-on-Hudson has tried. He said if that option is pursued, residents would have to raise money to finance it.
What can be done about the deer population?, SILive, Oct 4, 2015On Staten Island, the dense, urban population poses a unique challenge for the city. Assemblyman Joe Borelli (R-South Shore) has led the charge to install deer crossing signs on local roads to warn drivers — something local residents have taken into their own hands. But there are currently no deer crossing guidelines for the city Department of Transportation (DOT). Besides, the DOT argues that deer crossing signage does not reduce deer-vehicle crashes.
Hunting Season Opens, North Haven Welcomes Hunters, Dan’s Papers, Oct 1, 2015Deer hunting archery season for Long Island kicks off October 1, and North Haven is welcoming hunters to help reduce the deer population in the village. In 2014, the village hired Connecticut deer management firm White Buffalo Inc. to carry out a deer cull. Deyermond says no firm was hired this season. Deyermond says deer overpopulation in North Haven leads to a rise in tick-borne diseases and car accidents plus hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to ornamental plants.
Deer Culling To Begin In North Haven, 27East.com, Sept 30, 2015
The cull, which begins on Thursday, October 1, will continue until the end of the year. Those who wish to hunt must have a license from the State Department of Environmental Conservation and permission to hunt on private property. Hunters must also be at least 150 feet away from a house at all times.
Long Island’s Deer Herd: Monitoring The Ecological Impacts Of Our Largest Mammal, 27East.com, Sept 29, 2015.Since the goal of obtaining an accurate count is to develop a plan to mange the size of the herd, some scientists have argued that a number, whether exact or not, is irrelevant. It is also very expensive and time consuming. Instead, they point out that management goals and a plan to meet those goals can be achieved by simply monitoring the ecological impacts of deer on the forest. This, in turn, can be accomplished by periodically surveying the forest understory for the number and size of specific plants.
My impression is that the impacts deer are having on the flora and fauna of our nature preserves are not recognized by the general public. One problem is that, unlike the dramatic impacts we can see in our backyards, the changes in our nature preserves are imperceptible to most. For example, who takes the time to examine the shrubs along their favorite hiking trail to notice that the lowbush blueberry has vanished and the shrub community has thinned out? Even an experienced naturalist might overlook that slow and gradual change.
The potential impacts of deer overbrowsing the flora of the forest understory include the loss of rare plant species, changes in the structure of the forest shrub layer that, in turn, could impact ground nesting and ground feeding birds, and the loss of forest understory and canopy seedlings that are needed as recruitment specimens for aging and diseased mature trees.
A deer hunt for Staten Island? (commentary), SILive, Sept 5, 2015The real fear among Islanders: That those in city and state government will only begin to take the problem seriously when a motorist or vehicle passenger is injured or killed due to a collision with a deer.
It’s not just Staten Island that’s seeing an increase in deer. There has been a deer-population explosion across New York. But there is a simple remedy available in other parts of the state: Seasonal deer-hunting is permitted as one way to cull the herd and maintain balance in the ecosystem.
Deer Culling To Begin In North Haven, 27East.com, Sept 30, 2015The cull, which begins on Thursday, October 1, will continue until the end of the year. Those who wish to hunt must have a license from the State Department of Environmental Conservation and permission to hunt on private property. Hunters must also be at least 150 feet away from a house at all times.
Call Renewed For Control Over Coyotes, Deer After New Attack, Ossining Daily Voice, Aug 30, 2015“I have spotted coyotes in Shore Acres in the early mornings and at night,” Gorin wrote. “The deer population entering shore acres is totally out of control now. In the evenings, I often see packs totaling as much as 10 – 15 deer on my short walk of my dog.”
Karina Davis-Corr says there are at least two dozen deer living near her home on Crawford Avenue, on the eastern side of Syracuse. “We call it a herd,” she said. “There’s triplets, twins and a single,” she said of this year’s fawns. “I’m in full support of culling the herd.”
Bethlehem committee proposes matching suburbanites with bow hunters to cull deer, Bethlehem Spotlight.com, Aug 26, 2015A new program proposed by the Bethlehem Committee on Deer and Ticks would match bow hunters with homeowners who want to control the deer population in their area. “The activity is already legal,” said Potter. “All the town is doing is connecting the hunter and property owner by providing a list.”
Facing Deer Problem, Delmar Homeowners Matched Up with Bowhunters, Time Warner Cable News, Aug 21, 2015Sasso is also on the committee for deer and ticks. Residents with deer problems can call her and she’ll give them the list of bowhunters willing to kill deer at their homes. Anyone participating in the program needs to get permission if they live 150 feet from another home. “If your neighbor comes to you and asks for your permission to host a hunter in their yard because your house is too close and they need your permission, you have the right to say no,” said Sasso.
Jim plans to ask his bowhunter friend to shoot the deer from his son’s childhood treehouse in hopes that less deer will mean less ticks, and if it means his daylillies stop disappearing, that’s the kind of side effect Jim Garry won’t mind.
Ticks: Summer’s Unwanted Guests, New York Times, Aug 12, 2015Jill Kargman, the author, actress and creator of the Bravo show “Odd Mom Out” who was there, said the anxious conversation reflected a growing phobia of diseases borne by the arachnid among her set, with invasive nightly checks of spouses and children — limbs spread, hair frantically raked — now as routine as brushing teeth.
New York Needs Coyotes, The Slate, July 31, 2015Despite the fact that monitoring rodents is far more challenging than geese, studies by other researchers in rural areas have suggested that removing coyotes causes rodent populations to swell. Gehrt and his team have just completed a large-scale feral cats study, which found that coyotes are repelling them from natural areas within the city. “That has a positive impact on native fauna,” Gehrt says—cats kill a lot of birds. Recently, researchers at the Illinois Natural History Survey have also been considering white-tailed deer, which are responsible for a remarkable number of automobile accidents; findings suggest that coyotes are making a dent in their population through fawn predation. Out of 15 fawns collared this season, Gehrt says 11 have already been taken by coyotes. There are now coyotes in North America everywhere from tropical climates to the Canadian sea ice.
How one NY village has declared war on deer, Syracuse.com, July 26, 2015Fed up with damage to plants, cases of Lyme disease and aggressive deer, Cayuga Heights officials tried capturing female deer and having veterinarians operate on the deer to tie their tubes. That didn’t work because the deer still went into heat, attracting male deer into the village.
The village switched to ovariectomies, or removal of the deer’s ovaries. That’s worked better but village officials said they still have too many deer.
Now the village is using professional archers – in combination with ovariectomies – to reduce the deer population.Cayuga Heights, a two-square-mile suburb of Ithaca that’s home to 3,747 people, counted 125 deer per square mile there, in sharp contrast to the 10 to 11 average per square that is more typical, according to village officials. The village now has about 86 deer per square mile, so this winter – for the second time – the village will hire professional bow hunters.
“It’s just ridiculous,” said Joan Mangione, the village’s clerk/treasurer. “They have attacked several of our dogs, and they are intimidating to our residents. They have no fear of humans. If a deer is in your path, it will challenge you.”
This fall, the village plans to launch a new strategy. It will put out bait to attract deer so waiting hunters with bows and arrows can kill them. The village would be the first community in Onondaga County to launch such a program.
In fact, when the village asked for people to join a committee to set up its deer program, so many volunteered that the village had to turn people away.
Non-lethal methods such as birth control and sterilization were tried, but didn’t work, Blossey said. These programs were cost-prohibitive and largely ineffective, partly because the deer who didn’t give birth were living even longer, he said.
For Fayetteville residents like Bob Duncanson, who has been pleading with village, town and state officials to do something about the deer for 15 years, this program is a godsend. The last straw, he said, was when his 11-year-old grandson came down with Lyme disease.
5 towns, 1 plan? Krupski aiming for East End deer approach, Suffolk Times, June 4, 2015The volunteer committee members agreed with the legislator’s outlook over how the growing deer population needs to be addressed in order to decrease tick-borne illnesses, damage to the environment and the danger of hitting a deer with a vehicle. Some members said they believe tourism could suffer if visitors decide not to come to the East End out of fear of contracting tick-borne illnesses. Others said they believe a deer cull is the only solution since there are no natural predators like coyote in the area and would like to create incentives for hunters.
Wein plan would concentrate on culling deer herd, Shelter Island Reporter, May 6, 2015The deer population on Shelter Island is so high that it’s unlikely the use of 4-posters could successfully eradicate diseases, Mr. Wein said, referencing a conversation with Dominick Ninivaggi, Superintendent of the Suffolk County Department of Public Works Vector Control Division.
He also referenced a 2014 study on Cape Cod that concluded that use of 4-posters had reduced black-legged ticks by only 8.5 percent, saying the brief report concluded the number was much lower than had been expected.
Mr. Wein said the town spends $57,000 on feed to attract the deer to the 4-posters and said for every 10 deer feeding at the 4-posters this year, there will be 15 to 20 next year if the town continues with its present approach.
The results of the aerial fly-over, which were recently published on the village’s website, noted that following the cull there were still 44 deer within the village – and an additional 87 continue to hang around just outside the village limits.
The goals of the DEC-approved program were to reduce the negative impacts of the village’s excessive deer population: Lyme disease, car accidents and property damage. Cornell University officials also offered their expertise to village officials.
The results of the Trumansburg deer culling program has caught the attention of two other Central New York communities with excessive deer problems. The villages of Hamilton (which includes Colgate University) and Fayetteville are both in the early stages of considering a similar approach to dealing with their deer and are consulting with the DEC.
New Jersey State Trooper Killed After Patrol Car Hits Deer, New York Times, May 30, 2015A New Jersey State Police trooper was killed early Saturday after his patrol car struck a deer and veered off a highway in Monmouth County, the authorities said.
His partner, Trooper Gene Hong, 29, who was in the passenger seat, was treated for cuts and a neck injury from the crash.
Experts, Police Weigh Options At County Center Deer Forum, Daily Voice, May 1, 2015Pound Ridge Police Chief Dave Ryan, who has overseen bow hunting in his town for nine years, said his leading concern is safety. No one has been hurt, he said, and “we have pretty good support within the community.”
Pound Ridge’s deer hunting program started on 99 acres with 197 hunters, and now covers 1,600 acres using 29 hunters. “We have more success now,” Ryan said. “We talk to every neighbor,” and the town regulates hunters by issuing parking passes and photo IDs.
Trumansburg deer cull program using archers finishes with 88 deer killed, Syracuse.com, April 2, 2015While other municipalities across the state – including the city of Syracuse – are grappling with what to do with their excessive numbers of deer — the Trumansburg program has caught the attention of many officials because of how quickly it was put in place, its effectiveness and low cost. The village of Hamilton, in partnership with Colgate University, is currently in the early stages of putting a similar plan in place in that Madison County community.
Deer in Urban, Suburban or Rural Environments, C-OFOKLA, April 2, 2015Justin Gansowski, a wildlife disease biologist with USDA, then presented an informative talk titled Deer Management in Urban, Suburban or Rural Environments: The Need for Intensive Commitment. In the last 50 years the deer harvest in New York has more than quadrupled, implying a similar growth in the overall deer herd. This growth has resulted in significant damage to agriculture, the environment, property and human health. Justin identified 4 management options: Exclusion, Fertility Control, Volunteer Hunters, Cull
Each of these options have various pros and cons, but they all require significant investment and commitment. Unfortunately, the option of not doing anything doesn’t seem to be viable.
Hamilton, Colgate U. officials considering archers to lower deer population, Syracuse.com, March 26, 2015In addition to feasting on shrubbery, gardens and other landscape plants in the village, Gifford said officials have noted the incidence of Lyme disease has increased in Hamilton. “That’s a huge issue,” he said.
Gifford said rather than trying “reinvent the wheel,” Hamilton has taken a look at other communities to see what has worked and what hasn’t, including such non-fatal approaches as sterilization.
“Cayuga Heights, which until recently was set on the sterilization approach, has now turned to culling,” Joule said.
Staten Island’s exploding deer population may cause negative ecological effects, health risks, Staten Island News, March 13, 2015Through a survey in 2008, the Department of Environmental Conservation estimated that there were 24 deer living in the borough. In December 2013, the New York City Parks Department conducted an aerial survey that found 793 deer on the Island — an apparent population increase of 3,304 percent in a six-year period…
“Deer will mow everything down in the understory,” said Heatley, who had worked for the Parks Department for six months just over a year ago. “They selectively eat native plants. And once they’re gone, we’d have to spend millions of dollars to bring those once native plants back.”
An overabundance of deer could eliminate shrubs like blueberry and bayberry, which would decrease the variety of the wildflowers that grow and the birds that come to the Island.
Regional Task Force To Reduce Deer Population Proposed After Rye Meeting, Rye Daily Voice, Feb 26, 2015“It is a regional problem and deer don’t know boundaries, obviously,” Rosenblum said on Thursday. “Each municipality has to look at its codes.” Rosenblum said the county has been successful in reversing damage within its parks by offering annual bow hunting permits to reduce the deer population. “Deer are destroying the county’s ecology as they are eating up foliage,” the mayor said. In the meantime, Rosenblum said he will continue to explore the possibility of bow hunting within the Village of Mamaroneck, through direct discussions with state DEC officials.
Deer Sterilization Part II Called Off, The East Hampton Star, Feb 23 2015While animal rights activists felt the sterilization program more humane than an organized cull, some were nonetheless critical of a procedure they called cruel and ineffective. Several tagged does were found dead, at least one with a gunshot wound.
“I think they made the right decision not to continue with the program in this weather,” said Dr. James Meyer, a large-animal veterinarian in East Hampton. Combined with this winter’s extreme cold, the stress of capture could result in kidney and heart damage, he said. “My concern would be operating on animals and releasing them at night, in very cold, extreme conditions, and letting them fend for themselves without a follow-up,” he said.
Southern Westchester deer-hunt hitch: More people, Lohud, Feb 13, 2015Reducing the deer population is not only necessary for the ecosystem and safety, but also for quality of life, Daniel Lemons of Hastings, a biology professor at the City University of New York, told county legislators Tuesday. His neighbors have fenced themselves off from one another to try to keep deer out of their yards, he said.
“Every time I go around, I see a new fence that’s gone up and, some of them, they look like fortresses,” he said.
Mamaroneck mayor targets deer population, Lohud, Feb 5, 2015Depleting the deer population that is posing “a clear and present danger to drivers” in Mamaroneck and Rye should be a focus for state and county agencies, according to Mamaroneck village Mayor Norman Rosenblum. Rosenblum wants the county and state to use either relocation, birth control or hunting to reduce the number of deer in the area.
Why are there so many deer on Staten Island? Watch this video to see how they get here, SILive, Feb 3, 2015In most cases, the population of a newly arrived species grows, as long as there is enough food to support healthy numbers. The maximum number of animals that can be supported by the resources in an area is called the carrying capacity. A new population usually overshoots the carrying capacity slightly, then levels off near the number of healthy animals that can be sustained. But variations in the carrying capacity, from changes in resource productivity, the population of predators and disease, may affect the animals’ population size from year to year.
Mamaroneck mayor targets deer population, Lohud, Jan 28, 2015Depleting the deer population that is posing “a clear and present danger to drivers” in Mamaroneck and Rye should be a focus for state and county agencies, according to Mamaroneck village Mayor Norman Rosenblum. Rosenblum wants the county and state to use either relocation, birth control or hunting to reduce the number of deer in the area. Rye will host a “deer management summit” sometime in February, with Mamaroneck, county and state officials participating.
Hunters And Residents Continue To Butt Heads Over Deer, 27east.com, Jan 28,2015Tempers flared as hunters faced fewer than a dozen residents in attendance at Saturday’s deer management informational meeting hosted by Hunters For Deer, the non-profit that is leading the cull in Remsenburg that has upset some homeowners and animal advocates.
Students, Poughkeepsie residents fire back at VC deer cull, Miscellany News, Jan 28, 2015The College announced its decision to conduct another cull on Dec. 18, notifying students and neighboring residents and businesses of its intention to begin the culling in early January. The announcement was met with significant outrage from surrounding communities, and local protests were held on Jan. 3 and 25, where signs denouncing a perceived lack of respect for Poughkeepsie residents by the College and condemning the use of “bait and shoot” hunting techniques were held by incensed citizens.
Deer cull successfully completed, Poughkeepsie Journal, January 26, 2015At a time when access for hunters comes at a premium, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection opened an additional 4,800 acres of watershed property and increased hunter access on another 12,000 acres during 2014.
Deer are invading New York City, and we don’t know how to stop them, The Verge, Jan 14, 2015Communities like Staten Island — largely developed, if not entirely urban, with plenty of green space — have essentially four primary management methods available to them: two lethal and two non-lethal. Lethal methods include regulated culls (i.e. hiring government sharpshooters) and recreational hunting. Non-lethal methods include the application of a contraceptive and surgical sterilization. The fifth option — which isn’t really an option but rather the current state of affairs — is to do nothing at all.
Miner to DEC chief: How about spending some bucks to control deer in Syracuse?, Syracuse.com, Dec 20,2014The task force recommended that the city and/or the county issue a request for proposals to find ”the most appropriate company, agency, or organization” to reduce the deer population. The target area is estimated to have 192 to 244 deer, or about 19 per square mile.
Task force members expressed a strong preference for humane, non-lethal methods to depress the deer population, such as surgical sterilization, which the group said costs $1,000 to $1,500 per deer. But the task force also acknowledged that it might be necessary to kill some deer in the short term, which it said costs about $600 per deer, including permits and police supervision.
Growing Herds of Deer Aren’t Welcome at New York Parks, Nov 27, 2014Deer harm the forest in two ways. They can eventually destroy the understory by nibbling on saplings and shrubs (a process known as “browse”), and they also rub their antlers against the bark of developing trees, chipping away at the protective layer.
University must cull deer to protect student health, Pipe Dream, Binghamton University, Nov 25, 2014There have been many peer-reviewed studies that conclusively indicate that at deer population levels lower than those that we have on campus, there will very likely be a large increase of deer ticks. In this area, 30 percent of deer ticks are known to be carriers of Lyme disease. Here at BU we enjoy a very high degree of integration with the surrounding natural environment. The natural areas on campus serve as an incredible resource for both recreation and experiential education opportunities. Unfortunately, in light of the recent influx of deer and deer ticks, natural areas have become hazardous to student health and safety as well as potential sources of serious liability. The spread of Lyme disease, car accidents and damage to the property in surrounding areas all result from an overabundance of deer.
Southampton Town Unveils Deer Management Plan, The Sag Harbor Express, Nov 12, 2014The multi-pronged management plan recommends different ways of reducing deer herds, including hunting, sterilization and immuno-contraception plans, as well as suggestions for reducing the number of deer motor vehicle accidents and how to better educate the public about the animals.
Hunters Take 72 Deer In First Month Of Cull In Remsenburg, 27East.com, Nov 5, 2014The ongoing effort to thin the deer population in Remsenburg is going better than expected, according to hunters in charge of the program. In the cull’s first month, 72 deer have been taken, a number that has already exceeded the expectations of organizers and, as a result, prompted bow hunters to scale back their efforts this week, according to Christian Killoran, a hamlet resident who organized the cull through Hunters For Deer, a Long Island-based not-for-profit. “I’m really happy about it,” he said. “It’s working even better than we anticipated.”
Deer Still Winning Against Village Population Control Program, Lansing Star Online, Oct 31, 2014With new forest growth decimated, about 35 annual auto accidents caused by deer and gardens eaten to nubs, the Village of Lansing initiated a deer population management program in 2007. Last week Village Trustees learned that while the program has been moderately successful, the deer are still winning. Seven years later Cornell University Department of Natural Resources’ Dr. Bernd Blossey, who coordinates the program, said that the population is well above sustainable levels. And he said that deer in the Village may pose a health threat on top of the damage they continue to wreak on village property owners.
Deer population explodes on Staten Island; jumps from 24 to 793 in six years, SILive.com, Oct 12, 2014After the first confirmed sightings years earlier, in the mid-1990s, experts speculated that they swam across from New Jersey due to a loss of habitat and food sources. The rapid growth of white tailed deer on Staten Island mirrors what’s happening on the entire Eastern Coast, according to Dr. Richard Veit, a biology professor at the College of Staten Island.
The Needle Chase: The Travails of Deer Immunocontraception-on-Hudson, Center for Humans and Nature blog, Oct 6, 2014We thought that the deer would come to our corn. Instead we had to go to them as they foraged over icy ground. We thought that we could pursue and contain the deer in an area we controlled. Instead we found ourselves faced with pursuit under very different conditions.
Deer Cull Takes Place In Remsenburg, 27east.com, Oct 1, 2014When Nick Millward and his wife, Chris, designed their backyard—a quintessential Remsenburg landscape, replete with lush shrubs and trees, hearty vegetables and rows upon rows of flowers—they did not plan on having to rebuild it every year because of the deer. That is why the Millwards have joined 47 other homeowners—and counting—in Remsenburg in allowing hunters to legally thin the herd on their land this hunting season, which began on Wednesday, October 1, and runs through December 31.
Guest Viewpoint: What to do about the deer?, PressConnect.com, Sept 19, 2014In Binghamton University’s Nature Preserve, the deer population is over 10 times larger than it should be. Deer have eaten virtually all of the tree seedlings, wildflowers and shrubs. Why should we care? If you like wildflowers, you should obviously care. If you like birds, you should care because many of them require vegetation near the ground to nest. If you like forests, you should care because there are no saplings to replace the older trees when they fall. If you like biodiversity, you should care because ecosystems dominated by deer are a lot less diverse than when deer are under control.
Griffin: A smart way to control deer population, Newsday, Sept 11, 2014 Hastings-on-Hudson has become a proving ground for one of two nonlethal techniques for managing deer numbers: PZP, a contraceptive vaccine that can be delivered through a dart. The author proposed these as humane and economical.
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The article states that “They’re also being offered to the National Park Service for use in Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C., where wildlife services sharpshooters have killed deer for two winters.” Offered– but not being accepted; the Park Service expects to continue culling. The article also describes trapping for euthanasia as inhumane, but the capture for sterilization does not seem to have the same overtones.
Tburg Village is a Deer Factory, Says Resident; Trustees Ready Mitigation Plan, Ithaca.com, Sept 3, 2014Another man, who had recently moved to Trumansburg from Cayuga Heights, applauded the village for being proactive about the problem. In Cayuga Heights, which has run into political difficulties with implementing deer management, the deer problem is so bad that “tracking deer excrement through the house” from walking in the back yard was common for this man and his family. Cayuga Heights has been using a sterilization program to reduce deer in its village, to little avail.
With $225K to spend, USDA cull kills 192 deer, Suffolk Times, Aug 27, 2014“This project established that white-tailed deer can be safely, humanely and effectively removed from agricultural communities across a wide area and from state land on Long Island,” the 21-page report states.
Could new DEC bowhunting regs help solve urban deer problems?, Syracuse.com, May 12, 2014Reduces the setback requirement for shooting a bow from the current 500 feet to 150 feet for archers, but 250 feet for those using crossbows. To have any effect on urban deer situations, though, additional regulations or provisions must be adopted by the municipality to have any effect.
New York Village’s Deer Birth Control Program Sees Slow Progress, Outdoorhub, April 9, 2014“Fertility control is often suggested or advocated by individuals and organizations as a humane and cost-effective way to control deer populations or to reduce damages or conflicts associated with deer, especially in urban-suburban areas,” read a previous report by the DEC. “However, based on considerable research on fertility control for deer, including several studies sponsored by DEC, this strategy has not proven to be a viable, stand-alone option for managing free-ranging deer populations.”
Two Die; Deer Blamed, East Hampton Star, Jan 20, 2014Deer were blamed for the deaths on Saturday of two local residents, each in a separate incident on an East Hampton road, in what Town Police Det. Lieut. Edward V. Ecker Jr. called “tragic accidents.”
Outcry in Eastern Long Island Over a Plan to Cull Deer, NY Times, Dec 18, 2013Laura Simon, a wildlife ecologist who oversees deer matters at the Humane Society of the United States, says the program is “completely misguided” and will not work. She said studies showed that thinning a herd prompted a rebound effect, with surviving deer having more twins and triplets. She favors contraception or sterilization, which are expensive and take time to produce results.
Mr. Gergela dismisses such an alternative: “Tell them to go and get the millions of dollars it would cost,” he said. “It’s a ridiculous idea.”
A Risky Homecoming for White-Tailed Deer, New York Times, October 18, 2013Whitetails can now be found with regularity on Staten Island and in the Bronx and eastern Queens. They have made inroads into Manhattan at Inwood Park, and one audacious deer was rescued after swimming to Brooklyn under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.
Parks see decrease in deer population, LewisboroLedger.com, October 11, 2013“We’ve taken in our program 432 deer in six years,” Chief Ryan said. “Over 200 of them are doe. If you look at the age of those doe and figure out in their birthing cycle how many twins or singles or triplets they could have had, in five years you are talking about thousands of thousands of potential deer that are not there.
"The native plants are tramped down, the bushes are gnawed, and my three-year-old grandson can't play in the back yard because of the deer droppings. If humans entered our property and exacted such a toll we would have legal recourse We're watching the curb appeal and property value decline at a time when our taxes are rising. We are without defense."
M. Holland, Ann Arbor resident