Wednesday, May 21, 2008

UK NEWS: Muntjac Deer Cull Underway in Lincolnshire

Hundreds of deer will be killed across Lincolnshire in a bid to control the population.

Malcolm Armstrong, a wildlife ranger for the Forestry Commission and head of field operations for the Lincolnshire Deer Group, said the cull would be ongoing and be carried out by qualified marksmen.

He said: "Culls have always happened in the area but deer are becoming more and more prevalent in Lincolnshire."

Around 200 deer are usually killed in Lincolnshire every year in an attempt to manage populations but this year's total may be higher.

A one-off cull in April has already seen the killing of 41 deer.

The small muntjac deer browse on low-lying plant life and have been damaging populations of bluebells and wild orchids.

Mr Armstrong said: "Muntjac really like to eat low ground plants and that really creates a problem with the flora and fauna in some woods.

"If populations get really high then rather than deer being a cute animal that people want to see they can become a pest.

"If the general deer population gets too large then they can start to pick up diseases and we need to strike a balance in management."

Muntjac deer thrive in temperate conditions and have become increasingly common in England due to climatic change and warmer winters.

Any deer killed in the operations will be sold on for human consumption.

To find out more about the cull of Lincolnshire deer, see Wednesday's Echo.



Rupert said...

Remarkably, I see St Tiggywinkles animal sanctuary nursing various undesirable species to good health, including muntjac, grey squirrels, and, probably, rats, though I have not seen that latter.
Given that these animals are invaders that are generally doing rather too well in this country, and in the case of grey squirrels, carry disease that kills the native species, I am only too glad to see a cull being carried out with the bonus of an edible by-product. I am reminded that the next farmers market will be the last of the season for some game birds...

97animal49 said...

who wants to see muntjac deer being killed yes maybe grey squirrels,rats and rabbits but muntjac deer yes they may eat the odd bluebell or two but they also eat other shrubs and plants opening up the forest floor for bluebells to grow muntjac deer are also omnivorous and eat small mammals and birds eggs keeping ground nesting birds like pheasents and partridge at bay from eating crops ,and by eating small mammals like mice and rats it could have a positive effect on our countryside.

Rupert said...

...and be barking tree saplings when food is scarce in winter, they do many thousands of pounds of damage to national forestry... oh yes, they are a great creature we ought to treasure, like Grey Squirrels (carry disease that kills native red squirrels), American Signal Crayfish (carry disease that kills native crayfish), and amongst other organisms I might pick Dutch elm disease, Japanese knotweed, Rhododendron ponticum (carries Phytophthora species causing 'sudden oak death', historically coypu (ruining banks of waterways), mink (cruel predator without parallel eliminating too many vulnerable native rodents), etc. etc.), ... shall I go on as to why culling non-native species of animals is generally a good idea, esp. where they can be killed for food, fur, etc?
Take the eating of squirrel pie: - so there is some more good news. Sorry, but that is how I feel so objectively as I can look at these issues of 'cute' animals versus environmental and economic decision making.

Sadly, in the last 10 years, daft, ill-informed woolly liberalism, has delayed decision making so far, that the grey squirrel has crossed the alps and arrived in Italy. What a missed opportunity.

Don't various endangered species nest on the floor of the forest? They need muntjac so much as they need grey squirrels, mink and uncontrolled numbers of magpies... game-keeping is an important part of maintaining a balance for the benefits of agriculture and environment.

97animal49 said...

name afew endargered species that nest on the forest floor
ps.muntjac meat is grim i have tried it

Rupert said...

Must I? Suppose there are no bird species declining on the forest floor, so what?
Did I fail to mention that Muntjac do incur damage to forestry?
Did I fail to include this nicely illustrative link?:
They are herbivores that like to eat flowers that bees visit for nectar,etc. etc. etc. never mind diminishing the aesthetic value of such forest spaces.

Alex James, that wealthy outcome of the band Blur, who can likely afford to buy any food money can buy, states recently in the Observer, that "Muntjac is the best meat I've ever tasted..."

My conclusion is that your muntjac was badly prepared/cooked, or that you dislike meat, or that you are a vegan or vegetarian. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

im not a vegan and infact im only twelve years old and to be ohnest i couldent care less about muntjac deer its just i dont understand why 200 muntjac have to be killed and ps.i wasent lying about muntjac being omnivores cause they are

Anonymous said...

that was 97animal49 but i forgot my password but it is me.

Anonymous said...

plus isent there those things you put around small saplings to stop animal eating the leaves and shoots.

Rupert said...

I am sorry 97animal49, thanks for clarifying your doubts.
Prince Charles has just encouraged land owners and others to under take a major cull of grey squirrels - in the UK, grey squirrels do major damage to hard wood trees grown for timber/firewood/environmental improvement/furniture making.

That is an economic cost.
They also carry disease that kills the native harmless red squirrel.

There is a balance to be found between extermination of a pest relative to the harm it does and the benefit it brings.

The grey squirrel will hopefully follow the Coypu (it damaged river banks), and the signal crayfish will hopefully later follow both in being eliminated from the UK - there is little benefit to the UK and they all do or have done a lot of harm.

The Muntjac also does a lot of harm to habitat in the UK, harming habitat for insects and other wildlife that we value more than the non-native muntjac.
Since the muntjac is a common prolific animal, and since it is a worthwhile food source, there is no reason not to undertake a major cull of such an animal, unless one feel animal life is sacred.

In the UK we kill many animals for food; cows, pigs, chickens, sheep, deer, fish ...
So the muntjac is just another source of food which is also a nuisance animal. A cull is a good thing. Landowners are also keen that we eat more native deer - ther are too many of them and they are costing too much in grazing damage to crops, and damage to fencing/hedges (essential to keeping normal livestock enclosed).

Is that a better answer?
NB. you can put protection around the base of newly planted trees, but the damage muntjac do extends to eating spring flowers, and the bulbs of spring flowers - these are flowers essential to provide nectar to insects including bees... bees are now considered possibly endangered by climate change, etc. - so unless one can afford to erect vast fences to block muntjac out of large tracts of land (as the Australians do to protect land from over grazing by Kangeroos) the only economical answer (it is very difficult and expensive to fence out small deer that can also jump big heights) is to kill them and reduce population numbers.

Anonymous said...

good cause i hate grey squirrels and i understand now that we are not going to muntjac wipe them out from the uk because they are damaging things but not overly if you no what i mean like our native deer (red deer,fallow deer, and roe deer)also cause alot if damage but wer not going to desimate the population totaly only to a level of control,i have also heard that chinese water deer can be found in wetlands in the uk and as they are criticly endangered were not carrying out any culls on them in fact chinese scientists come to the uk to study them because they are so rare in there own country although in the uk the population is only 700 individuals ps.this is 97animal49 replying

Anonymous said...

plus chinese water deer cause no damage but eat other plants like nettles,grass to open areas up for reed growth and water plants and ps in my earlier post good cause i hate grey squirrels.. in one of the sentences i put alot if damage but wer.... what i ment to say was, alot of damage but we are....