This month



Ann Arbor’s plan to shoot deer in neighborhoods has some residents in fear, MLive, Dec 7, 2017The next cull is expected to last most of January, taking place in several parts of the city, including city parks and nature areas, university properties, and some private properties with owner consent. The shooting will be taking place from 3 p.m. to midnight daily. It’s expected that shooting will occur on a small number of city-selected private properties in wards 1 and 2, which include the north and east sides of the city, and also around Mary Beth Doyle Park on the south side of the city in Ward 3.

Ann Arbor details plans for hunt to manage deer population, USNews, Dec 5, 2017The Ann Arbor News reports nonprofit contractor White Buffalo will complete sterilizations from Jan. 2-7 by tranquilizing up to 26 female deer and surgically removing their ovaries. A hunt to kill up to 250 deer is scheduled Jan. 8-31.

Only one wolf now seen on Isle Royale, plan to recreate an island pack awaits federal OK, Detroit Free Press, Dec 4, 2017Isle Royale may be down to a lone wolf, as the federal government ponders whether it will replenish the pack on the northern Michigan Island. It’s more than a tear-jerker for wildlife lovers. The loss of wolves on Isle Royale has thrown the predator-prey balance there completely out-of-whack. It’s led to a population explosion to more than 1,600 moose, threatening the fir trees and other vegetation on the island with their voracious appetites, and setting up an ugly potential of mass die-offs of starving moose in years to come.

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?

Kits to detect chronic wasting disease in Michigan deer in short supply, Detroit Free Press, Dec 1, 2017Obtaining chronic wasting disease test results will take longer than usual. the Michigan Department of Natural Resources informed hunters today in a news release, as the delivery of testing kits by a supplier has been delayed.


A Clue in the Bee Death Mystery, Mother Jones, Nov 29, 2017A 2015 study by University of Wisconsin and US Department of Agriculture researchers found that bumble bee hives exposed to small amounts of chlorothalonil—which is widely used in fruits, vegetables, and orchard crops—”produced fewer workers, lower total bee biomass, and had lighter mother queens than control colonies.”
Here’s a map of where chlorothalonil is used, from the US Geological Survey:

Metroparks receives approval to kill up to 285 deer, Toledo Blade, Nov 28, 2017Mr. Schetter said the kill is needed to reduce ecological damage tied to an overabundance of deer in protected areas of the park district. Mr. Schetter pointed out that the permit requests to remove deer at Oak Openings is substantially less for this winter than what it was in the first two years, reflecting the success of the Metropark’s efforts to effectively control the deer population in those areas. “We have noted a marked decline in deer-related damage to rare plant populations and the formal research plots that we monitor throughout the years,” he said.

Annual shotgun deer hunt starts today in Blue Hills, Patriot Ledger, Nov 28, 2017State conservation officials first began allowing hunting in the Blue Hills in 2015 in an effort to curb a deer population that they said had grown out of control and was damaging the health of the forest. Animal welfare advocates have strongly opposed the program and have questioned the state’s data and conclusions.

Somerset County, N.J. Residents On Edge After Man Is Horrifically Injured In Crash With Deer, CBS, Nov 27, 2017On Friday, a massive Buick slammed into Mark Rodgers’ car. Police said it shattered the windshield of his Hyundai Elantra. “The vehicle had struck a large deer – approximately 212 pounds. The deer came through the windshield and struck the driver, Mr. Rodgers, and ended up in the back seat of the car,” said Franklin police Lt. Philip Rizzo. Rizzo said pictures of the accident are so gruesome that the department will not release them.

A SMOTHERING THREAT, MLive, Nov 1, 2017“Stiltgrass can smother and outcompete native wildflowers, forbs and grasses,” said Eleanor Serocki, coordinator for the South by Southwest Corner Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area. “It’s been a major problem in other areas, so we have to work quickly to ensure it doesn’t become one here.”

Why this deer disease could change the way Americans hunt forever, USA Today, Nov 27, 2017The deer that so far have tested positive for chronic wasting disease in Michigan are younger on average. And if allowed to grow, they would be shedding this indestructible disease in their feces, saliva and urine for that much longer.

Letting the disease spread is not an option. There’s increasing concern CWD, a prion disease similar to mad cow, eventually could cross the species barrier and spread to humans. Many scientists think it’s not a matter of if, but a matter of when. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns not to eat the meat of contaminated deer. It’s possible CWD already has made the leap — comparable prion diseases have incubated for decades before dementia-like symptoms were recognized.

Valley Forge rejects deer birth control, so hunting continues, The Inquirer, Nov 27, 2017Sharpshooters have killed more than 2,000 deer since the culling program started seven years ago, and about 170 deer are estimated to remain there. For the second year, park officials have met their goal of 31 to 35 deer per square mile.

The hunt was only supposed to last four years. Then National Park Service officials said they would rely on a nonlethal solution to maintain animal habitats — deer birth control. Seven years later, that hasn’t happened. Park officials maintain they will limit their hunting when an “acceptable” reproductive-control method emerges that meets their criteria. No fertility vaccine on the market checks every box.

Rock Creek Park deer population control begins in Dec.; road closures overnight, WTOP, Nov 27, 2017During the more than three-month effort to curb the park’s whitetail deer population, trained firearms experts from the U.S. Department of Agriculture work with the National Park Service and U.S. Park Police to hunt deer at night, when the park is normally closed. The contentious hunt reduces the deer population that has “negatively impacted Rock Creek Park,” the National Park Service said. The deer population has led to a decline in forest regeneration and native plants, Nortrup said. “Deer management was initiated because of the negative impact deer have had over the past 20 years on park forest vegetation,” Nortrup said.

‘Cute’ urban deer eat tons of vegetation, spread disease and damage ecosystems, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Nov 26, 2017 At a November meeting of Friends of Riverview Park, ecologist Tim Nuttle explained that the 251-acre public space, billed by the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy as “a jewel of Pittsburgh’s North Side,” is being tarnished by an infestation of an aggressive invasive Asian worm. The worm destroys leaf litter, threatening the growth of new plants throughout the forest. A high density of white-tailed deer, which eat young plant shoots before their roots anchor to the ground and deposit waste that feeds the worms, is exacerbating the problem.

Woman dies after deer ricochets off car, strikes hers, Detroit Free Press, Nov 21, 2017Authorities say a western Michigan woman died after a car hit a deer, it flew into the air and struck the windshield of her vehicle.

Washington restricts import of big game carcasses from Montana after CWD confirmed, Spokesman-Review, Nov 21, 2017The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has filed an emergency rule that adds Montana to the list of states and provinces with restrictions on what parts of the game animals can be brought across the state line. CWD has not been detected in Washington or Idaho, and officials hope to keep it that way. However, the discovery of CWD in Montana means the disease has hopped a step farther west.
The Turkeys Not on Your Plate: They’re Out Back, Climbing the Roof, NYTimes, Nov 21, 2017Starting in the early 1950s, wild turkeys were reintroduced into states where they had fallen on hard times as their habitat shrunk, and newly introduced — often with enthusiastic state participation — into places like the Pacific Northwest, where they had never existed in nature. Every state but Alaska now has a hunting season on wild turkeys, which have an estimated population of about 6.2 million across the nation, up from about 1.3 million in the mid-1970s.

Fort Thomas considering deer contraceptive program to control population, Fox19, Nov 22, 2017Around 10 years ago, the city introduced a bow and arrow deer hunting season to try to control the growing population but it hasn’t been working, so now are considering a deer birth control program. She said the injection lasts two years and the darts would cost around $75 a piece.**
**Beware of reporters who do not do thorough research. Actual cost “Clifton’s program cost $975.61 per deer

Special hunt gets 47 deer on Lake Michigan island once eyed as sportsman’s preserve, MLink, Nov 21, 2017In the 1920’s, nine deer were brought to North Manitou Island in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. “The deer thrived and rapidly multiplied and were allowed to roam across the entire island. The forest began to have the groomed appearance of a city park as a result of the deer feeding on ground cover and low-hanging branches. They seemed to favor maple and juniper, but eventually browsed on everything except beech, which continues to spread across the island,” according to the island’s history page on the park’s website.

See which parks could close for Ann Arbor’s deer cull in January, MLive, Nov 20, 2017The city of Ann Arbor has released a tentative list of 18 parks and nature areas that could be closed during designated hours for most of January 2018 while the city brings in sharpshooters to carry out the city’s third-annual deer cull.

DNR needs more submissions from deer hunters for disease testing,, Nov 20, 2017The DNR is asking deer hunters for help with a disease surveillance program in Franklin and Fayette counties. State biologists are sampling deer harvested from portions of those two counties for bovine tuberculosis. After a slow start to the deer firearms season, however, the program is running behind. Biologists have collected just 16 percent of the samples needed to reach their surveillance goal, largely because of weather.

Morris County Parks: 2017-18 White-Tailed Deer Management Program, Morris County, NJ Press Release, Nov 11, 2017The Morris County Park Commission will conduct its annual controlled deer hunt in 2017 starting on Monday (Nov. 20) at Lewis Morris County Park, with hunting set to occur at various county parks through early February, in accordance with its White-tailed Deer Management Program. That program aims to improve forest health in the parks through the management of the deer population. The controlled hunts are specifically used as a population management tool.

A fatal disease is spreading among U.S. deer, but there may be a new way to detect it, Popular Science, Nov 16, 2017The two existing USDA-approved CWD tests require brain and lymph node tissue, which is impossible to retrieve from a live deer. And testing for CWD before consumption is crucial. The disease has not yet been documented in humans, but the CDC advises against eating meat from infected animals. In July, Stefanie Czub, a scientists with the Canadian food inspection agency, presented evidence that macaque monkeys suffered from CWD after eating infected deer and elk. “It’s spreading in numbers, and geographically,” says Soto. “It’s an epidemic that is growing. And it’s dangerous because we don’t know if it can be transmitted to the human population.”

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.

Bethesda Resident Says She Is Giving Up on Lawsuit Challenging Bow-Hunting Program, Bethesda Magazine, Nov 16, 2017Last month, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals ruled against Cohhn, deciding that the park was not violating animal cruelty laws by using bow hunting to control the deer population. With its ruling, the three-judge panel affirmed a Montgomery County Circuit Court judge’s decision against Cohhn.

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.

Michigan hunters don’t need more deer, The Bridge, Nov 15, 2017By any rational metric, the number of deer in Michigan is far too high. However, there is one irrational measure of deer numbers which says that we need more deer. This is the metric used almost exclusively by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources when managing for deer. Michigan averages almost 50,000 car-deer crashes every year, including over 1,200 injuries and 14 deaths. This makes deer the most dangerous animal in the state.

Deer cause millions of dollars in crop damage every year in Michigan, making deer the most expensive farm pest in the state. Some crops can lose up to 10 percent to deer annually. In the winter, deer eat many forest species in damaging amounts. As a result, Michigan is no longer regenerating major components of our forests in any meaningful amount. Yet, in the Michigan Forest Health Report, the DNR describes a number of pests which are hampering forest regeneration in Michigan. Deer are simply ignored, and not even listed, even though deer demonstrably cause more forest mortality and loss of regeneration than any of the pests listed.

    From Comments: I am a student at the University of Michigan and I saw some deer in the Arboretum. A few months later I was diagnosed with lyme disease. There are many articles written this past year about how lyme disease has increased by a sizable percent in Michigan. Another compelling argument about why there are too many deer in the state.

Teen killed in crash involving deer identified by officials, MLink, Nov 15, 2017Elana Nhu Tran, 18, of Gaines Township, died at the scene of the crash after a deer struck the windshield of her 1994 Lexus, causing her to lose control and skid into another vehicle before the Lexus came to rest on its roof.

Deer ticks are spreading an even more serious disease than Lyme, Today, Nov 14, 2017Anaplasmosis cases are on the rise, said Stephen Morse, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. The anaplasmosis bacteria are carried by the same tick that spreads Lyme disease, Morse explained, “So when you see an increase in Lyme disease, you’ll see an increase in the other tick-borne diseases, like anaplasmosis.”

Meeting Monday to discuss Lansing Chronic Wasting Disease deer hunt, WILX, Nov 13, 2017An aggressive approach to stopping the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease in deer around Lansing will be the center of a meeting Monday night. In December the city will close select parks to allow sharpshooters to kill deer there. The DNR says the hunt is critical to determine whether Chronic Wasting Disease is spreading in Lansing deer herds. While there are hundreds of deer in the city, hunting is limited meaning few deer have been tested for the disease. “Lansing and Lansing Township are of great concern given that we’ve identified the disease north, east and west of the metro area,” said MDNR’s Chad Stewart. The removal will be conducted at night by expert sharpshooters on larger parcels of city-owned property. All deer taken will be tested for Chronic Wasting Disease.

Antietam National Battlefield to again use sharpshooters to control deer herd,, Nov 12, 2017 The National Park Service will again use experienced sharpshooters to reduce the number of white-tailed deer roaming the 3,250-acre Antietam National Battlefield in Sharpsburg. Nortrup said managing the deer population is necessary to provide the long-term protection of the native vegetation and the historic landscape of the battlefield.

Massachusetts man killed in freak accident involving deer, CBSNews, Nov 10, 2017A 76-year-old artist was killed outside Boston Wednesday night in a crash involving a deer. David Lang was driving in Weston when a car traveling in the opposite direction hit a buck, sending it into the air and through Lang’s windshield.

Residents Concerned About Fairfax County’s Use of AR-15s to Control Deer Population, NBCWashington, Nov 10, 2017Fairfax County Police Department’s sharp shooting team plans to use AR-15 rifles to kill deer in Loftridge Park and Clermont Park in the Alexandria area of the county from mid November to mid March. “Even though the police say they shoot down as it’s supposed to be safe, we just feel that you can’t ever rule out weapons malfunction or human error,” Alexandria resident Nancy Schoenig told News4. “Would you want somebody firing an AR-15 near your house? I mean think about it.”

Wasting disease threatens Michigan deer herd, Detroit News, Nov 10, 2017Michigan’s prevalence of the disease is still miniscule, less than one in 1,000 white-tails tested positive, according to the DNR. But the discovery of new cases, 60 miles from an earlier cluster in the greater Lansing area, raises critical questions of how the disease might be contained, and how it will impact hunting statewide.

Natural Lands staff track impact deer have on ecosystem, The Ithacan, Nov 9, 2017According to Cornell’s Botanical Gardens website, they control the deer population to preserve and increase the well-being of the forest. The implementation of this form of deer control depends on factors like what the land is used for and if firearms are permitted. Todd Bittner, director of Cornell University Natural Areas, said. Bittner said that assessing how Lyme disease occurrences relate to the population of deer is a key interest in Cornell’s program, but more funding is necessary for Cornell’s study. Cornell Health at Cornell University said they were unable to release the information of the number of Lyme disease cases. However, at Ithaca College over the past five years, Hammond Health Center has had 41 patients diagnosed with Lyme disease and 79 patients with tick bites, Vivian Lorenzo, director of medical services, said.

*City defers on deer discussions, Petosey News, Nov 9, 2017At its Oct. 24 meeting, the Boyne City City Commission discussed what, if any, action the city should take to address concerns about the deer population in the city. In his report to the commission, Gaither pointed to research conducted by the city of Tecumseh’s city manager, which addressed similar deer population concerns. He also referenced efforts the city of Ann Arbor has tried to address similar issues. Gaither noted that officials in Ann Arbor attempted a program in which deer were captured and given a drug to prevent them from reproducing. Gaither said that program has been both costly and not very effective.

The End of Roadkill, NYTimes, Nov 8, 2017There is a concept in ecology called the trophic cascade, essentially the ripple effect on other animals when a top species vanishes. Over hundreds of years, humans methodically killed off predators like wolves, pumas and grizzly bears. Now, in many places, human drivers have become, albeit unintentionally, the top predator. Every year in the United States, there are an estimated 1.5 million deer-vehicle crashes. If self-driving cars manage to give deer safe passage, the fast-reproducing species would quickly grow beyond the ability of the vegetation to sustain them. “You’d get a lot of starvation and mass die-offs,” says Daniel J. Smith, a conservation biologist at the University of Central Florida who has been studying road ecology for nearly three decades. Species like raccoons and Virginia opossums will most likely see population explosions.

Michigan ranks No. 2 in 2016 deer harvest, and other deer-hunting facts, MLive, Nov 6, 2017The southern Lower Peninsula has the state’s largest deer population because of its “high-quality” habitat — i.e, “abundant food and cover in the form of agricultural crops and scattered swamps and woodlots,” says the DNR’s 2017 deer hunting forecast. Another factor: Harsh winters in 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 hit deer hard in northern Michigan, especially the Upper Peninsula, and the deer population is still recovering.

*Injured Deer Put Down After Damaging Several Cars In Post Office Parking Lot, CBS Pittsburgh, Nov 7, 2017A panicked and injured deer was put down after running out of control at a post office in East Liberty. The animal slammed into several parked cars and left behind a trail of damage.

*Women dies after collision with deer in suburban Kansas City, Fox2Now, Nov 6, 2017The patrol says Jacobs’ car began to skid after she hit the deer Sunday morning on Interstate 470 in Jackson County. The patrol says the car struck a guardrail twice and overturned.

*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.

*Urban beasts: how wild animals have moved into cities, The Guardian, May 20, 2017All around the world, city life seems to be increasingly conducive to wildlife. Urban nature is no longer unglamorous feral pigeons or urban foxes. Wolves have taken up residence in parts of suburban Germany as densely populated as Cambridge or Newcastle. The highest density of peregrine falcons anywhere in the world is New York; the second highest is London, and these spectacular birds of prey now breed in almost every major British city. And all kinds of wild deer are rampaging through London, while also taking up residence everywhere from Nara in Japan to the Twin Cities of the US.

Are cities the new nature reserves? This isn’t as tenuous a question as it sounds. Some animals may be safer among urban populations, which are more sentimental about animals and more squeamish about killing them.

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