Sunday, January 23, 2005

Other People's Deer Problems

This Greenwich Time article about the town's prospective deer hunt begins by saying that Iowa City, Iowa, paid the price when it stopped its deer hunt one year. A state wildlife biologist said the population increased by 25 percent.

"As the deer herd in an area is thinned, diminished competition and a greater food supply can create an ideal habitat for the remaining population, Thompson said.

"As healthy female deer roam an area where they are not competing for resources, they often get pregnant faster and in many cases give birth to twins and triplets."

That makes sense to me. It may overstate the problem though. If Greenwich Audubon, for example, reduces its deer herd over the years from 60 to seven -- which is its goal (scroll down for details) -- and then skips a year and sees a 25 percent increase, the number of deer will have to risen to nine. That's hardly a disaster (although obviously if it continues the herd will reach its former size in not too many years).


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