Spread of Lyme Disease in Michigan

New evidence suggests Lyme disease is present in Washtenaw County (MLive, July 29, 2016) and it's not easy to eradicate once it's here.

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An Integrated Approach for Managing White-Tailed Deer in Suburban Environments: The Cornell University Study

December 2014-- Cornell's experiences and recommendations will benefit other communities challenged with deer-related impacts.

Download the report An Integrated Approach for Managing White-Tailed Deer in Suburban Environments the "Toolkit" starts on page 26

And they are multiplying rapidly

In a healthy population, female deer can breed as fawns, producing a single fawn at 1 year and continuing through 15 years with 2 to 3 fawns annually.

City of Ann Arbor Deer Count Increases Over Previous Year, City of Ann Arbor, Feb 22, 2016

Download WC4eB's presentation slides Deer Population Growth and Solutions and the Presentation/Talk that went with them

Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Status Report: Deer Population Trends and Impacts in County Parks, 2014

Deer pose a direct threat to the diversity and sustainability of wildlife habitat with in WCPARC natural areas.
- Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission

Download our handout, Deer in Ann Arbor: The Problem & The Solution-- giving facts and figures of the deer population in Washtenaw County

Metroparks 2010 – 2011 Deer Management Plan Implementation Report

It is the consensus of natural area managers that controlling excessive deer populations is critical to the long term health and viability of the native ecosystems that these animals are a component of.

Learn more...

City of Ann Arbor Deer Count Increases Over Previous Year to 202 - http://www.a2gov.org/departments/community-services/Documents/Aerialdeercount02222016.pdf. Deer-vehicle accidents also increased to 88 during 2015 from 51 in 2014. According to State Farms, the national cost per claim from hitting a deer rose 6 percent to more than $4,100 from about $3,900 in 2014. One factor in the increase is the rising costs for auto body repairs.

The Audubon Society says

The Audubon Society says

The Audubon Society says: "You have to protect yourself, your family, and native ecosystems from the most dangerous and destructive wild animal in North America, an animal responsible for maiming and killing hundreds of humans each year, an animal that wipes out whole forests along with most of their fauna.

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Lyme Disease is here in Washtenaw County

Lyme Disease is here in Washtenaw County

In the foreground is a tick on a bed, courtesy of the dog in the background (thankfully not a deer tick- would be too small to see). Deer help spread the ticks that cause Lyme Disease.

New evidence suggests Lyme disease present in Washtenaw County, MLive, July 29, 2016

Reports of Lyme Disease in Washtenaw County

Mi Dept Health & Human Services shows that Lyme Disease and the deer tick is moving closer to Washtenaw County
Highway accidents and deaths

Highway accidents and deaths

2015: Data obtained by the former editor of the Ann Arbor Chronicle (Dave Askins) indicates that deer-vehicle crashes reported shot up to 88, a 72% increase.
Worst Counties for Deer Accidents- 2014:
No. 1 -- Oakland County, most vehicle-deer crashes in the state with 1,750.
No. 10-- Washtenaw County reported 952 vehicle-deer crashes.

If a crash with a deer is unavoidable, AAA recommends you slow down and release your foot from the brake before impact; this will raise the front end of the car during the crash and increase the likelihood that the animal will go underneath the vehicle instead of through the windshield.
Write City Council

Write City Council

WC4EB.org was asked, along with other groups, to prepare a report for the city staff, consultant, and ultimately the City Council. A Community-Endorsed Deer Management Plan for Ann Arboris available.

View last Deer Management Public Meeting, August 17, 2015

See City of Ann Arbor page dedicated to the Deer Management Project.
Check out and contribute to the the new map we have where we are tracking deer sightings-- sightings, accidents, damage.

August 17, 2015, City Council approved the establishment of a deer cull program for the next four years on City of Ann Arbor property beginning in the winter of 2016. In addition, City Council directed city staff to continue to explore an experimental deer fertility control program with the Humane Society of the United States. The deer management program aims to decrease the deer population in order to reduce deer-human negative interactions. City staff will begin work on a culling proposal that will require Michigan Department of Natural Resources approval. Many more details need to be worked out. Communication with residents will continue throughout the cull development process.
  In addition, City Council approved at first reading an ordinance that bans the feeding of deer in Ann Arbor, making it a civil infraction.

"A Community-Endorsed Deer Management Plan for Ann Arbor developed and submitted at the request of City Staff. The report contains recommendations for a managed cull including rationale, benefits and goals, specific cull areas, methods, procedures and rules, task coordination, and safety.

At the April 15 Deer Management Meeting it was indicated that Ann Arbor was a "tale of two cities" -- one overrun by deer and the other with occasional, but more frequent and destructive, sightings. Though developed prior to the April 15th meeting where the disparity of deer in different Wards was highlighted, the report is pertinent to the city. At the last meeting constituents in the 3rd and 5th wards also came forward to speak to the problem of deer in their areas.

Washtenaw Citizens for Ecological Balance are also providing the following materials from the second meeting, for your information: Deer in Ann Arbor: The Problem & The Solution and the slides and presentation given at the meeting.

“If we treat nearly 95 to 100 percent of females in the community, I would have good confidence that within the five-year time period, you could see a 50% population reduction,” DeNicola told commissioners. Quoted from "Mt. Lebanon pursues deer sterilization", Sept 10, 2015. Read more at http://www.thealmanac.net/article/20150910/NEWS/150919995

From White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) browse damage in Ann Arbor, Michigan Bird Hills Nature Area, Winter 2015

This survey of 142 tree saplings (less than 2 meters tall) and shrubs in Bird Hills Nature Area shows that 80% have been browsed by deer, and 51% have half or more branches browsed. This level of browsing could interfere with forest regeneration and diminish the flowers and fruit available for birds, butterflies, and bees. Further monitoring would be necessary to track mortality, to reveal whether particular tree and shrub species of concern are browsed in future years, and to assess whether wildflower species are also being heavily browsed.

From Status Report: Deer Population Trends and Impacts in County Parks, February 2014, Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation

Deer are a normal part of the forests and fields of Michigan, but their numbers have grown to unnaturally high levels due to lack of predators. The deer population in Washtenaw County has been steadily increasing over the last 15 years.

Scientists have shown that habitats and deer are most healthy when deer density ranges between 15-20 deer per square mile. Recent aerial studies have shown the density in Ann Arbor to be up to 76 deer per square mile. When the number of deer exceed the "healthy" density level, the plants they depend on begin to disappear. Deer pose a direct threat to the diversity and sustainability of wildlife habitat within Washtenaw County Parks And Recreation Commission natural areas.
  From An Evaluation of Deer Management Options, Northeast Deer Technical Committee, April 2008

In the absence of predation or hunting, this kind of reproduction can result in a deer herd doubling its size in one year. This fact was illustrated on the 1,146 acre George Reserve in southern Michigan where biologists at the University of Michigan have been studying the deer population since 1928. The deer herd grew from six deer in 1928 to 162 deer by 1933. More recently, the George Reserve herd grew from 10 deer in 1975 to 212 deer in 1980.

We have talked to City Council members, met with County Commissioners and the Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission, and we are available to talk to your group.

The WC4EB.org website is set up as an educational site providing information on deer biology, overabundance, and management, especially in urban areas.

Please send us a request at info@wc4eb.org.

To join us and subscribe to our email list, go to: https://glc-lists.merit.edu/sympa/info/wc4eb
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