Friday, June 19, 2009

KANSAS NEWS: Controlled Hunt Approved for Shawnee Mission Park

SHAWNEE, KS - A controversial plan to kill deer at Shawnee Mission Park got a thumbs-up on Wednesday night, as officials say the deer population has exploded to nearly seven times the normal rate at the suburban park.

According to officials, the deer are overrunning the park, with the population estimated at 200 per square mile. Since there are no natural predators for the deer in the park, officials say that disease or starvation could wipe out the entire herd unless the population is thinned.

"Because there is no natural predator, and our biodiversity policy address this very clearly, we must intervene and we must try to replicate the role mother nature has played before when there was a perfect balance, that balance no longer exists," said Johnson County Parks and Recreation director Michael Meadors.

The plan calls for sharp shooters, made up of park police and other law enforcement agencies, to thin the deer herd. The sharp shooters would likely head out in the Fall.

Source: Fox4kc

MINNESOTA NEWS: New Deer Warning System Tested

ST. PAUL, Minn. - The state is testing a warning system in southwest Minnesota aimed at reducing the number of deer traffic collisions.

The state has stopped putting up the yellow "deer crossing" signs because a University of Minnesota study found drivers were desensitized to them. And, with a deer herd estimated at 1 million, the animals are everywhere.

The system set up along Highway 23 near Camden State Park stretches nearly a mile and includes a wall of light beams that trigger flashing roadside lights to warn drivers when deer approach.

MnDOT says the deer warning system cost $150,000 and reduced collisions by 57 percent over 18 months of study.

Minnesota has averaged nearly 4,500 deer-vehicle crashes annually over that past 10 years.

Source: MLive