Ann Arbor residents continue to protest controversial deer cull, Michigan Daily, Jan 19, 2020Around 10 Friends of Ann Arbor Wildlife in Nature members protested the city’s fifth annual deer cull on Saturday afternoon along Washtenaw Avenue.
“Some of us are completely baffled at why 150 deer in Ann Arbor get all the attention from some of the animal protection groups and they say nothing about thousands of deer. It’s very strange,” Banet said. “They may have some reason for focusing on Ann Arbor, but it’s not part of a consistent ethical stance or a political opposition to hunting. It’s just a weird Ann Arbor thing.”
Christopher Dick, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Michigan, previously told The Daily he thinks the cull is necessary to keep the deer population in check and protect the local ecosystem. “They basically eat away at the forest understory, so there’s no regeneration of the forest,” Dick said. “What happens when you have these deer take off is this destruction of their own habitat if there’s no kind of predation. If you want Ann Arbor to have healthy parks and vibrant forests that take up carbon and help mitigate climate change, if you want a safe environment for kids to grow up and not be worried about ticks and diseases associated with overabundance of deer, then we really have to think about managing this urban deer population.”
Set of tick bills become law in effort to prevent lyme disease spread, Channel 7 Wausau WI, Jan 21, 2020A set of tick bills became law after the governor signed them Tuesday. The effects of the new laws will be noticeable at state parks.
One bill will require state parks to post a sign that brings awareness to tick bites and their connection to lyme disease. It also encourages people to check for ticks and what to do after a hike in the park. The other law would require state parks to sell bug spray so people can help prevent tick bites.
Chronic wasting disease found in deer at West Michigan farm, Morning Sun, Jan 15, 2020NEWAYGO COUNTY, MI — Three white-tailed deer have tested positive for chronic wasting disease at a deer farm in Newaygo County. Officials said the disease still hasn’t been detected in free-ranging deer in Newaygo County. An investigation will be conducted to rule out exposure of any other farmed deer.
Deer cull by sharpshooters approved in muskegon despite some citizen opposition, MLive, Jan 14, 2020MUSKEGON, MI – A controlled cull of deer by sharpshooters near Lake Michigan has been approved by the Muskegon City Commission following complaints by residents for more than a year.
Conservationists call for enforceable deer cull in Scotland, The Guardian, Jan 14, 2020Dramatic reduction in population needed to combat biodiversity crisis, say experts. A coalition of Scottish conservation groups has called for legally enforceable culls of deer to be imposed on private landowners and stalking estates, while raising the prospect of local communities becoming more involved in shooting and killing deer for food.The report says deer can cause significant damage to emerging woodlands through grazing, and that they trample fragile peatlands, which are key to carbon absorption.
Attacks by Urban Coyotes Are Rare, but Frightening, New York Times, Jan 9, 2020A coyote attacked a 5-year-old boy near the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago on Wednesday, sending him to the hospital. The individual attacks, particularly of a child, are frightening. Although such events are rare, they are now common enough in major urban areas to be familiar. The reason is the extraordinary number of coyotes now living in the midst of densely settled cities.
Deer hunts are coming to St. Louis County parks this fall, St Louis Dispatch, Jan 7, 2020The County Council on Dec. 10 voted 5-2 to allow the state Department of Conservation to hold archery hunts of deer at county parks. The first hunt would be this fall. The deer season for bow hunters in Missouri begins in mid-September.
Opponents of Ann Arbor deer cull schedule pair of protests. MLive, Jan 6, 2020January’s deer cull in Ann Arbor is facing at least two organized protests. The Friends of Ann Arbor Wildlife in Nature, or FAAWN, have scheduled a pair of demonstrations, said the organization’s spokeswoman Cathy Shafer.
Point Pelee National Park to close temporarily for deer cull, Windsor Star, Jan 2, 2020In a news release Thursday, Levitt said the park’s population of white-tailed deer has grown to “three or four times higher” than the park can sustain. A “healthy and balanced environment” at the park would ideally support 24 to 32 deer, he said, but a series of mild winters with light snow cover and a lack of natural predators, including wolves and cougars, have allowed the deer population to grow.
High deer populations “are a serious threat to forest and savannah health” at the park, Levitt said. Through “over-browsing,” the deer consume and damage native plants faster than they can regenerate. This threatens the “health of the Carolinian Forest,” he said, which is home to a number of species at risk, including the red mulberry tree, the red-headed woodpecker, and the eastern foxsnake. Deer are also “jeopardizing efforts to restore the Lake Erie Sandspit Savannah, a globally rare ecosystem that supports 25 per cent of the species at risk in the park.”
These 3 supertrees can protect us from climate collapse. But can we protect them?, Vox, Dec 12, 2019Brazil nut, stilt mangrove, and Afrormosia are just three species in three wildly diverse and important ecosystems. But they all make remarkable contributions to the communities around them — and to those of us continents away. As new science has revealed, we are much more dependent on these parts of the world than we might think.
When it comes to the crises of global warming, extreme weather, and biodiversity loss, it really does matter if the Amazon reaches the tipping point, if a stretch of Bornean mangrove gets razed to build a shrimp farm, or if a tall yellow giant in Congo goes extinct. It’s not just losing a pretty tree 12,000 miles away — it’s cascading ecosystem collapse with long-range effects. We may not feel those effects yet, but we will feel them in our lifetimes. ️
Novi woman watches as dog is killed, dragged away by coyotes in backyard, Detroit Free Press, Dec 11, 2019“I worry about the safety of other family pets and more importantly the children who walk them,” she continued, saying that the police couldn’t do anything unless they got more complaints.
University conducts second controlled deer bowhunt in Nature Preserve, Pipedream, Dec 5, 2019Binghamton University’s Nature Preserve closed for the second year in a row over Thanksgiving break as bowhunters came to campus to hunt deer in an effort to combat overpopulation in the area. The deer management plan outlines the effects of an overabundance of deer. The overpopulation has resulted in a loss of many species of wildflowers and a layer of vegetation underneath the forest canopy. Additionally, because deer eat tree seedlings, the ecosystem has lost its ability to regenerate. This has led to declines in small mammal populations and the disappearance of many ground-nesting birds in the Nature Preserve.
The lone star tick could soon be colonizing a backyard near you, CNN, Dec 4, 2019About 30 years ago, black-legged ticks in the United States were primarily in coastal areas with warmer and wetter climates. The warming climate made additional areas “increasingly suitable” for ticks to take up residence, he said, bringing disease with them. The lone star tick will likely follow suit and, like other ticks, it will continue to spread disease among humans and animals.
Aerial Survey 2019 Deer Heat Map (PDF), City of Ann Arbor, Dec 4, 2019
2020 Deer Management Implementation Plan
Data tool using GIS maps that can display in layers: deer count, crashes
Ann Arbor approves killing another 150 deer in fifth annual cull, MLive, Nov 19, 2019The fate of as many as 150 deer was decided Monday night when the Ann Arbor City Council approved a cull plan for January 2020.
City-hired hunters have killed 386 deer since Ann Arbor received a state permit to shoot or sterilize the animals in 2016. The goal is to control the population and limit impact on plants and other animals in the city’s nature areas. Officials also worry about deer-vehicle crashes. [note: no input from biologists included in article]
Regulated deer hunts close Griffy Lake Nature Preserve for the next two weekends, Indiana Daily Student, Nov 19, 2019Griffy Lake Nature Preserve will close the next two weekends for regulated deer hunts intended to protect the area’s ecosystem.
“The goal of the program is to reduce deer browse pressure to the point where the plant community can recover and reproduce,” said Steve Cotter, natural resources manager for the Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department.
See a radio-collared deer in the woods? It’s OK to shoot them, DNR says, MLive, Nov 14, 2019“If you see one of these deer, they are legal to hunt during regular deer hunting seasons,” the department said in a press release. “If you harvest a collared or tagged deer, please register the deer at the nearest deer check station and provide the head for chronic wasting disease testing.
Deer Impacts on Plant Communities in Ann Arbor Natural Areas
Deer-vehicle crashes and the progress Ann Arbor has made with the deer management program
Query to retrieve 2018 data: https://www.michigantrafficcrashfacts.org/querytool#q1;0;2018;c8189;0,71:1
Deer- Vehicle Crashes in the City of Ann Arbor
2018 (Year of 3rd cull and second sterilization) 55
2017:(Year of 2nd cull and first sterilization) 56
2016 (Year of first cull) 73
Michigan Traffic Crash Facts
The City of Ann Arbor Geographic Information System Data Tool shows crash sites each year
The 4th cull was accomplished in January 2019 but crash data for 2019 will not be available until spring of 2020.
Four days of deer hunting to protect state parks, Star Press, Nov 11, 2019Before the state began annual deer-reduction hunts due to their overpopulation in state parks 26 years ago, browse lines and small, malnourished deer were common in most of the parks. Emaciated deer and browse lines — areas of a woods where the vegetation has been eaten back and stripped to a height that deer can reach — are no longer a problem.
But the hunts continue, to prevent rare and distinctive habitat from being eaten to death, according to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
Hunting is on the decline in Michigan — which is a problem, MLive, Nov 10, 2019The decline of hunting and fishing also has an economic impact on communities. Eichinger points to a 2018 study by Michigan State University that found hunting and fishing generates $11.2 billion a year in the state.
Yet another factor is wildlife management. Hunting is one “of the best tools that we have for maintaining balanced, healthy populations,” Eichinger said. That’s especially true in urban and suburban areas where deer and coyotes can cause problems. In 2018, deer accounted for one of every six vehicle accidents in Michigan — more than 53,000 collisions, including 14 deaths.
Red oak seedlings as indicators of deer browse pressure: Gauging the outcome of different white‐tailed deer management approaches, Ecology and Evolution, Nov 8. 2019After decades of high deer populations, North American forests have lost much of their previous biodiversity. Any landscape‐level recovery requires substantial reductions in deer herds, but modern societies and wildlife management agencies appear unable to devise appropriate solutions to this chronic ecological and human health crisis. We evaluated the effectiveness of fertility control and hunting in reducing deer impacts at Cornell University. We estimated spring deer populations and planted Quercus rubra seedlings to assess deer browse pressure, rodent attack, and other factors compromising seedling performance. Oak seedlings protected in cages grew well, but deer annually browsed ≥60% of unprotected seedlings. Despite female sterilization rates of >90%, the deer population remained stable. Neither sterilization nor recreational hunting reduced deer browse rates and neither appears able to achieve reductions in deer populations or their impacts. We eliminated deer sterilization and recreational hunting in a core management area in favor of allowing volunteer archers to shoot deer over bait, including at night. This resulted in a substantial reduction in the deer population and a linear decline in browse rates as a function of spring deer abundance. Public trust stewardship of North American landscapes will require a fundamental overhaul in deer management to provide for a brighter future, and oak seedlings may be a promising metric to assess success. These changes will require intense public debate and may require new approaches such as regulated commercial hunting, natural dispersal, or intentional release of important deer predators (e.g., wolves and mountain lions). Such drastic changes in deer management will be highly controversial, and at present, likely difficult to implement in North America. However, the future of our forest ecosystems and their associated biodiversity will depend on evidence to guide change in landscape management and stewardship.
Red oak seedlings as indicators of deer browse pressure: Gauging the outcome of different white‐tailed deer management approaches, on Vimeo,
East Lansing considers hiring deer sharpshooters, The State News, Nov 4, 2019The survey concluded that 72% of the attendees at the meeting thought there are too many deer in the city. Sixty-five percent reported seeing between one and 20 deer near their homes in the last week.
At the city council meeting, DeShambo pointed to further education and attempts to sterilize the deer or birth control as possible options. Birth control and sterilization efforts like the one in Ann Arbor can be costly. Another possibility is culling, or hiring professionals to come in and kill the deer.
The winters being warmer than Northern Michigan have also led to less deer dying of natural causes and a higher percentage of fawns surviving their early years, Stewart said.
DNR finds more carcass disposal bins as deer season nears, AP News, Nov 4, 2019Waste Management recently decided not to accept carcasses that potentially could be contaminated with the fatal brain disease, which has been found in wild deer in parts of southeastern, central and north-central Minnesota. That sent the Department of Natural Resources scrambling to find replacement bins and haulers ahead of Saturday’s firearms deer season opener.
Deer goes through SUV windshield, killing SC driver, APNews, Nov 1, 2019A South Carolina man is dead after he crashed into a deer and it went through the windshield of his SUV.
Minnesota deer disposal plan unravels, sparking CWD fears, APNews, Oct 29, 2019A plan to dispose of deer carcasses during Minnesota’s upcoming rifle hunting season is unraveling over a waste hauler’s fears of spreading chronic wasting disease.
The state placed special dumpsters in parts of central and southeastern Minnesota where the fatal deer brain disease has been found. The plan was to use the containers to safely dispose of potentially infected deer carcasses. But Waste Management will not accept deer carcasses infected with chronic wasting or that have the potential of being infected. With Minnesota’s rifle season about to start, officials worry hunters will toss bones onto the land where the disease can spread to other deer.
Brain illness spread by ticks has reached UK, BBC, Oct 29, 2019People who spend time walking in countryside areas where infected ticks can be found are at risk of being bitten and catching diseases they carry.
Tick-borne encephalitis virus is already circulating in mainland Europe and Scandinavia, as well as Asia. Most people who catch the virus will have no or only mild flu-like symptoms. But the disease can progress to affect the brain and central nervous system and can sometimes be fatal.
Shaker Heights City Council OKs 2019-20 deer culling that includes private property pilot, Cleveland.com, Oct 29, 2019Shaker Heights plans to introduce a pilot program this season for culling deer on private property, as well as on public lands.
Deer movement studies provide insight into CWD spread, management, MI Dept of Natural Resources, Oct 25, 2019In Michigan, this disease challenges not only the foundation of wildlife conservation, but the state’s long-standing hunting traditions. The initial detection of the disease in Michigan also was unique in that, when it was found in Meridian Township, a Lansing suburb, it marked the first time a state had identified the initial cases of the disease from a more suburban environment, rather than a rural area.
Jonathan Trudeau is on the research team heading up the study in the Lower Peninsula. He explained that, because Michigan’s landscape is varied, deer in the southern half of the Lower Peninsula likely don’t behave in the same manner as deer in the western and central Upper Peninsula.
“The factors that influence the spread of the disease are likely very different than those in the U.P.”
The MSU research team is looking particularly at how far and how frequently deer in these suburban environments disperse – meaning that they permanently move from one area to another – and whether certain habitat structures or landscape features facilitate or hinder those types of movements. Long-distance movements have the potential to drastically impact the spread of CWD across a broad landscape, but researchers aren’t just looking at long-distance or long-term movements.
Tecumseh approves second deer cull, The Sault News, Oct 25, 2019The city council voted Monday to once again contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Wildlife Services. Despite conducting a lethal cull of urban deer last winter, Tecumseh residents have felt no change in the problems caused by the deer, specifically to their gardens and landscaping. Swallow mentioned that there were nonlethal methods, such as catch-and-release sterilization used by Ann Arbor, but that costs $2,000 per deer.
Swallow estimated that a second cull with the USDA would cost the city $7,500 and is the most cost-effective option. The venison would be donated to local food pantries.
Chronic Wasting Disease Confirmed In Michigan Deer, Patch, Oct 24, 2019Gratiot County’s first CWD-positive deer was discovered in late 2018. CWD is a fatal neurological disease that affects white-tailed deer, elk and moose. To date, the disease also has been confirmed in Clinton, Dickinson, Eaton, Ingham, Ionia, Jackson, Kent and Montcalm counties.
Arkansas hunter dies after deer he shot got back up and attacked him, officials say, USAToday, Oct 24, 2019“Evidently, it got up and attacked him and he was gored several times,” Stephens said. Stephens said the accident is not an isolated incident. In 2016, another hunter was gored by a buck in Ashley County in southern Arkansas.
Oh, deer! Overpopulation is taking a toll on Wisconsin’s forests, Isthmus, Oct 24, 2019By some estimates, there are now more deer on Wisconsin’s landscape than since the Ice Age. With 2019 herd estimates ranging between 1.9 and 2 million-plus animals, the annual fall hunt for the white-tailed deer — the state’s most iconic animal after the cow — should be a productive one for the more than half a million gun and bow hunters who will take to the field. But the abundance of deer, especially in the southern portion of the state but also in the north where the regeneration of certain tree species is now at risk, continues to be a fraught bio-political issue.
Studies by retired UW-Madison forest ecologist Don Waller, an expert on the effects of deer on forest ecosystems, have shown that plant species diversity due to an overabundance of deer has been reduced by 15 percent. Tree species such as hemlock, white cedars, yellow birch and pines, among others, are failing to regenerate, changing forest composition. Likewise, the native plant communities that make up the forest understory are listed by Waller as ‘losers’ in the deer vs. plant calculation. Native orchids, lilies and a litany of less flashy forest herbs rank high on the deer menu. “There are a lot of cascading effects on other species,” says Waller, adding that browsing deer often pave the way for invasive plants.
DNR reports CWD-positive deer in Hamilton Township, Gratiot County, DNR News, Oct 24, 2019Hunters encouraged to check deer in southeastern Gratiot and southwestern Saginaw counties
The 76 Michigan cities and townships with the most deer-vehicle accidents in 2018, MLink, Oct 22, 2019More than 53,000 Michigan motorists collided with deer in 2018, and such crashes accounted for more than a quarter of crashes in October and November, according to Michigan State Police data.
Deer-vehicle crashes injured more than 1,300 people and killed 14 last year. Ann Arbor 55 crashes. Scio Township was # 12 in the state.
Pennsylvania Game Commission raises alarm on deadly deer disease, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Oct 20, 2019Chronic wasting disease is killing white-tailed and mule deer in 26 states and two Canadian provinces, and scientists don’t know how to slow its spread. Because it hasn’t infected humans, the Pennsylvania Game Commission and other wildlife agencies are struggling to find ways to convince the public that CWD threatens state and provincial economies, wildlife density and habitat and the quality of life of every citizen.
“It lives in the environment forever, there’s no cure and it’s not like it’s [the disease] coming someday — it’s already here.”
Last year the disease was detected near Central Pennsylvania’s wild elk, a conservation success story and ecotourism magnet. Ecologists consider deer a “keystone species” because they eat the habitat that every other animal needs for food and shelter. The rapid elimination of a keystone species in CWD hotspots, they say, would have dire consequences for all plants and animals, as well as the people who enjoy the wildlfe.
How to Avoid Collisions With Deer This Fall, Consumer Reports, Oct 22, 2019The State Farm insurance company estimates that there were over 1.9 million animal collision insurance claims this past year. The costs really add up. The Highway Data Loss Institute (HLDI) reports that the severity of crashes also increases in the fall. The average cost of November animal-strike claims over the past 13 years was $3,560, compared with $2,801 for February, the month with the least severe crashes.
Annual Montgomery County Deer Population Management Underway, Connections Newspapers, Oct 19, 2019Eight parks were added to the program this year, bringing the total to 54 parks where archery and/or shotgun managed deer hunting or Park Police-based sharpshooting operations will take place. The 54 parks comprise more than 50 percent of Montgomery Parks total land area, according to a press release.
Ann Arbor releases plan to kill up to 150 more deer this winter, MLive.com, Oct 22, 2019City officials are preparing for Ann Arbor’s fifth-annual deer cull in January, with a goal of killing up to another 150 deer, according to a newly released plan. This would be the fifth year of culling under a five-year permit issued by the state, City Administrator Howard Lazarus stated in his memo. The city has been working with Connecticut-based contractor White Buffalo Inc. to carry out both the lethal and nonlethal aspects of the city’s deer management program.
New test diagnoses Lyme disease within 15 minutes, Medical Express, Oct 11, 2019Some 300,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with Lyme disease every year. Caused by Borrelia burgdorferi and transmitted by the bite of infected Ixodes ticks, the disease if left untreated can cause serious neurologic, cardiac, and/or rheumatologic complications. Sia’s group worked in collaboration with Maria Gomes-Solecki from Immuno Technologies, which found a combination of three proteins that identified antibodies specific to the B. burgdorferi bacterium in the serum, and OPKO Health, which provided microfluidic cassettes. Their findings were published today in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology.
Muskegon considering cull to reduce city’s deer population, 13OnYourSide, Oct 7, 2019The City of Muskegon has concluded a year long study into the deer population in the Bluffton and Beachwood neighborhoods, and a cull is one option being considered by city leaders to reduce the population. The cost of a cull could fall somewhere between $25,000 and $50,000 to remove between 25 and 50 deer. According to Muskegon Police Department crash data from 2008-2018, one-third of reported car-deer collisions in the city limits have occurred within Bluffton and Beachwood Neighborhoods.
Why There’s Still No Lyme Vaccine for Humans, Atlantic, Oct 6, 2019“Every manufacturer that has considered this since 2002 has judged that it’s unlikely that we’re going to make a profit on this vaccine,” Poland says. “In the second decade of the 21st century, you can protect your dog against Lyme disease, but not your children.”
There are signs, however, that the field is beginning to warm to a human Lyme vaccine. In December 2016, Congress established the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group to help identify research priorities. The diverse, 14-member working group within the Department of Health and Human Services includes researchers, physicians, patients and their family members, patient advocates, and employees from a variety of federal agencies. Last December, the group released its first report to Congress, calling for increased federal funding to address the “serious and growing threat” of tick-borne diseases.
In April, the National Institutes of Health announced that it intends to commit $6 million in fiscal year 2020 to more than a dozen projects aimed at the prevention of tick-borne diseases, including vaccine research.
Video Shows Deer Crashing Through Window of Salon, NYTimes, Oct 5, 2019The animal leapt through the front display window of the Be.you.tiful hair salon in Lake Ronkonkoma at around 12:20 p.m., breaking the glass pane and injuring one woman, according to the police.
Residents say Grosse Ile has a deer problem, and township isn’t solving it, Detroit Free Press, Oct 4, 2019From 2009 to 2018, the island had an annual deer cull. Four permitted hunters would cull an allotted amount of deer, keeping the population in check and the island healthy. In January, Grosse Ile’s police chief canceled the 2019 cull. In the months since, township residents have increasingly questioned why, and township officials have been unsuccessfully trying to give an answer that sticks.
Michigan’s largest deer processing facility severely damaged in fire, Free Press, Oct 4, 2019Michigan’s largest deer processing facility was severely damaged in a large fire early Friday morning. The facility’s destruction also comes just as Michigan’s deer hunting season is opening.
Michigan hunters warned about catching tuberculosis from deer, Detroit Free Press, Oct 1, 2019The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued an advisory, warning that it is possible to catch a form of tuberculosis when field-dressing infected deer. It’s called M. bovis tuberculosis, and it’s a form of the disease found mostly in cattle, elk and deer.
In Michigan, the deer in a four-county region of the northern Lower Peninsula: Alcona, Montmorency, Oscoda and Alpena are most likely to carry the infection. A small percentage of white-tailed deer from other parts of the state also have been found to carry the disease.
Syracuse plans to start culling deer in December, Syracuse.com, Oct 7, 2019The Syracuse Common Council today approved a plan to start culling deer in the city beginning in December. The question of what to do with Syracuse’s urban deer population has long been debated by local officials. The number of deer in the city has exploded in recent years, with experts estimating the population doubles every three years. The city won’t inform residents of exactly where the sharp shooters will be and when. City officials said that’s because other municipalities that have used sharp shooters in the past have run into issues with people who intentionally let their dogs out in the area or otherwise obstructed the program, sometimes as a form of protest.
Residents say Grosse Ile has a deer problem, and township isn’t solving it, Detroit Free Press, Oct 4, 2019Phillips isn’t alone in thinking Grosse Ile’s deer are a safety issue. Island residents are living with a burgeoning deer population, and many are pushing the township government for solutions. From 2009 to 2018, the island had an annual deer cull. Four permitted hunters would cull an allotted amount of deer, keeping the population in check and the island healthy.
In January, Grosse Ile’s police chief canceled the 2019 cull. In the months since, township residents have increasingly questioned why, and township officials have been unsuccessfully trying to give an answer that sticks.