Alex Palmer's Natural History Notes and Thoughts

Thoughts and reflections on various social and environmental issues, as well as naturalist observations from the great outdoors.

response to poll in previous blog entry

Ok, here are the results of the poll I posted on this blog post.

As I promised, I will give you all my response to this question.   First off, I’m glad that none of the six people who took this poll chose the first two options.  We know that deer are overrun on the landscape, and are several times larger in numbers than they were at the time Europeans first came to North America.  We also know that we humans are to blame.  Therefore, it also makes no sense to anthropomorphize, or give human characteristics to deer, since the situation is different from human overpopulation.

For that one voter who thinks there is nothing we can do about the deer problem, I’d like them to know that as a person who works in the conservation field, controlling the deer population is in fact achievable land owners should strive to manage interior forest habitat (see one of my previous blog posts). .  Therefore, I would choose a combination of the third and fourth choice.  In large areas of undeveloped and protected land, habitat managers and

However, in suburban and urban areas, as well as most agricultural areas, there is little available land that can feasibly be managed as interior forest.  In addition, many areas in the Midwest are not naturally forested.  Therefore, in these areas I would propose an expensive but very effective option:  Hire sharpshooters to cull deer.  This will help protect native communities of plants and make roads safer to drive on.  With this option, it is also important to educate the public about the hazards that overpopulated deer have on our natural resources and highway safety.  Finally, we need to come to terms with our own feelings for “Bambi” and take action to restore and protect our natural heritage.

Deer many look friendly and innocent as they pounce around in the snow. However, a deeper perspective of deer overpopulation creates unsettling news about human interference on the natural landscape. The deer in this photo was alongside a parkway in Harrison Hills County Park in Pennsylvania. Photo by Andrii Cherniak. December 2010.

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