Bald Head Island

Deer Project Updates

Deer Management
2016-2017 Season Update BHI Conservancy, Feb13, 2017The project is studying the efficacy of managing the BHI deer population using an immunocontraception procedure. The procedure involves first anesthetizing a female deer using a dart gun, followed by injection of GonaCon™ which is an immunocontraceptive that has been shown in clinical trials to be effective at preventing deer pregnancy; GonaCon™ use in this program poses no health threat to humans or pets. Inoculated does are also fitted with a radio collar and ear tag for tracking purposes.
Week Five 02/13/2017
We had a great week! We captured 3 does total: 2 untagged and 1 tagged. Our team captured 2 untagged does, now wearing ear tags 89 and 96. We also captured tagged doe 112. They are all doing well!
Week Four 02/06/2017
This week the deer team tagged 3 deer with the help of a visiting veterinarian Karen from NC State. Our first doe is now donning ear tag number 92. She was not captured before and received her first vaccination as did our other doe we captured, number 79. Our other deer was a button buck. Button bucks are difficult to tell apart from does, but we are making sure we identify gender as best as possible. He is now wearing orange tags 73/74.
Week Three 01/30/2017
We had a successful week this week! We caught doe 100, which has been vaccinated twice already, and collected blood samples that will tell us if the vaccinations are working. Unfortunately, we had a case of mistaken identity. We captured a button buck, tagged 71/72. He blended in well with his doe counterparts. He is doing well though! Our team caught sight of him this weekend while out darting. We also captured doe 114, and she received her second vaccination. While out spotting, we saw quite a few doe and bucks. We look forward to another successful week!
Week Two 01/23/2017
We had less darting opportunities this week due to weather. Unfortunately, we didn’t add any new deer to the list. Next week’s weather is looking better so we are staying positive. Stay tuned!
Week One 01/16/2017
The deer team was getting acquainted with their new sites this past week as were the deer! We totaled one capture this week, a doe now wearing ear tag number 98. She has remained alive and healthy since we captured her. The team looks forward to another great season!

The BHI Conservancy, in partnership with the Village of BHI and the NC Wildlife Resources Commission, will begin darting this evening as part of the white-tailed deer management program.

Deer Management, Bald Head Island Conservancy
Our team is using the birth control vaccine, Gonacon™, which is administered to female deer. To vaccinate the deer, we must first anesthetize them using a dart gun to remotely administer anesthesia drugs. Darting takes place from baiting stations established around the island as well as from roadsides, at dusk and into the night. Public, pet, and wildlife safety are a top priority and no darting takes place without full consideration of surroundings. Communications protocols are in place to coordinate with the Public Safety Department.

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