Category Archives: population density

Report – 2011/2012 Deer Management Plan Implementation

Report – 2011/2012 Deer Management Plan Implementation, Report to Board of Commissioners
HURON-CLINTON METROPOLITAN AUTHORITY, Meeting of September 13, 2012

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. The management efforts the Metroparks established has had a direct impact on insuring that the parks’ high quality natural areas remain intact for future generations to enjoy.

Growing Deer Population Hurts Survival Of Forests

Growing Deer Population Hurts Survival Of Forests
NPR, June 15, 2011

The deer side of the fence has a carpet of grass, a shrubby looking thing, and some large trees – things that are either too big for deer to eat, or are among the very few plants they don’t like to eat. Inside it is practically a jungle. Dozens of different almost exotic looking plants are tumbling over one another. Many of them are young trees.

You have the old trees. And when the old trees go, there is something here [in the enclosure] to take its place. Out there, I don’t see anything out there that’s a small tree.

One of the surprising things they’ve found with this experiment is that deer allow invasive species to flourish. And with fewer native plants, there are fewer birds who depend on them for nests and food. There are fewer mice and fewer chipmunks here when they have to compete with deer.

Appetite for trouble

Appetite for trouble
Wisconsin Natural Resources Magazine, Oct 2007

Even small numbers of deer can have dramatic consequences where the land can’t support a larger herd. At a deer density of 12 to 15 animals per square mile of range, herbaceous plants like trillium, Indian cucumber, showy lady’s slipper and white fringed orchid decline. When deer densities reach 20 to 25 animals per square, species like pines, white cedar, hemlock, oaks and Canada yew can stop regenerating and small mammals like red-backed voles, an important prey species, starve out without the forest floor vegetation they need. At 25 to 35 animals per square mile of range, birds like hooded warblers decline from lack of needed ground, shrub and tree layers.

Dr. Victor Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve Unit Management Plan

Dr. Victor Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve Unit Management Plan
Town of Cheektowaga
, New York, 2006

One of the major threats to the continued existence of the mature forest at Reinstein Woods is the large deer population. The town of Cheektowaga has begun a town-wide bait and shoot program to reduce the size of the population. The program is expected to take several years to achieve a significant reduction in the size of the population. Therefore, DEC plans to go ahead with establishing deer exclosures in strategic locations to encourage regeneration of desirable tree species in the forest… Two deer exclosures within the Woods give visible evidence that the deer population is impacting the forest within the Woods.

Relative deer density and sustainability: a conceptual framework for integrating deer management with ecosystem management

Relative deer density and sustainability: a conceptual framework for integrating deer management with ecosystem management
Wildlife Society Bulletin, 1997

This framework replaces the variety of old carrying capacity concepts: sustained yield of maximum numbers of deer for harvest and sustained yield of timber. All of these can be expressed in the common currency of RDD, which would help clarify apparent differences when data are collected on landscapes with differing carrying capacities.