Monday, December 28, 2009

NEW YORK NEWS: College to Cull Deer

Vassar College will use sharpshooters next month to reduce the deer herd near its main Town of Poughkeepsie campus — a move that has upset some neighbors who claim they were not notified about the cull until it was already set to occur.

College officials said the herd must be reduced to protect the 530-acre Vassar Farm and Ecological Preserve off Hooker Avenue. Officials point out deer are harming the preserve, decimating the forest understory and making it difficult for new trees to grow. Deer also cause safety problems through car-deer collisions and spread tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease, they say.

The farm and preserve, which is open to the public, is used for field-based education and research. Officials said the college received a permit from the state Department of Environmental Conservation to cull the herd.

The sharpshooters will start their work after New Year's Day. Officials hope the herd will be reduced to about 15 deer from the approximately 100 animals living on the preserve.

College officials said there are simply too many deer on the preserve — which is bad for the preserve and for deer.

"We really have to do something to manage this problem," said Keri VanCamp, who manages the Vassar farm and preserve.

Increasing deer populations in urban and suburban areas have become problematic throughout New York as the animals become more common in places where they traditionally were rarely seen. Finding humane ways to deal with the overpopulation problem is an issue more and more property owners must address.

Full story at: Poughkeepsie Journal


Anonymous said...

Deer don't live in one specific small area. Their "area" is the town of Poughkeepsie. They roam throughout the town and winter in some areas because of wind and snow protection plus food availability. To kill 85 animals, claiming they live there is just plain nonsense. Where are all the students while these guys get paid to come in and bait the deer, blind them with lights at night and them slaughter them? Does anyone really believe these guys will stop killing with 85 animals?

Anonymous said...

Deer live in a relatively small area- less than 1 square mile. The Vassar property is over 500 acres. The range of the deer extends beyond property lines but, not very far. Where is your concern for all of the other animals that have lost there habitat because of the deer? Property owners across NY need to wake up and do something to manage the problems that people have created. I applaud the college's decision.