Wednesday, July 22, 2009

MALAYSIA NEWS: Hunting Moratorium on Sanbar and Barking Deer

PETALING JAYA: The hunting of sambar and barking deer will be stopped for two years, in a move to safeguard their numbers and ultimately, that of the Malayan tiger.

Wildlife and National Parks Department enforcement director Saharudin Anan said the two-year moratorium on hunting will start this November, when the annual one-month open season for both game species usually kicks off.

He said no hunting licences will be issued for deer this year and next, to allow the declining deer population to rebound and provide a food source for wild tigers.

Wildlife scientists have said that tiger densities depended very much on the abundance of large preys such as the sambar and barking deer, but they have been overhunted in recent years.

Sambar deer numbers have plunged drastically, prompting the International Union for the Conservation of Nature to list the species as endangered last year.

The Perhilitan 2007 annual report revealed that 221 sambar deer and 315 barking deer were captured by licensed sports hunters that year, the bulk of them in Pahang.

The department issued 574 hunting licences for both species that year, which brought in a revenue of RM81,500.

The licence costs RM200 for the sambar deer and RM100 for the barking deer, and permits the capture of one animal.

In Kuala Lumpur, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas said the ministry has sought military assistance to help curb illegal wildlife trade in the country.

“The border is so long and the areas are so wide. And many people realise that our jungles are rich in resources and all kinds of flora and fauna.

“But all hope is not lost. We are working with the military to come out with more effective enforcement,” he said when launching the forum, Mainstreaming Biodiversity with a Focus on the National Tiger Action Plan yesterday.

“We have a masterplan and our commitment is to achieve that plan,” Uggah said.

He added that a task force, consisting of enforcement agencies, would also be formed to look into matters pertaining to wildlife poaching and smuggling.

Source: The Star

MICHIGAN NEWS: Ferrysburg Discusses Deer Management Options

While the debate over what to do with deer living in the city limits may be old hat in Grand Haven, the discussion is just heating up across the Grand River.

Ferrysburg officials have received complaints about deer destroying landscapes in the city, prompting City Council to hold a work session on the issue Monday night to discuss options for controlling the herd — including the possibility of a hunt to thin it.

The area surrounding Ferrysburg is largely undeveloped and agricultural, making it ideal for white-tailed deer, Mayor Pro-Tem Tim Scarpino said. And while the city has received complaints about the deer, he said he was concerned about their effect on other parts of the city.

Deer feed on and damage local vegetation, Scarpino said, including some protected plants at the Ferrysburg-owned Kitchel-Lindquist Dunes Preserve in Grand Haven. Something needs to be done about the deer in order to protect the plants, he said.

"You can't simply value one species of plant or animal over all the others," Scarpino said. "The deer are creating damage to plants that are rare and endangered."

Councilwoman Regina Sjoberg said she wants to look at alternatives to a cull involving sharpshooters — similar to the two conducted in Grand Haven earlier this year — including the possibility of a coordinated bow hunt during hunting season in the fall.

Councilman Chris Larson echoed Sjoberg's idea, suggesting it could be open to local hunters.

Ferrysburg currently bans hunting within 450 feet of an occupied dwelling, but those who live on more than 30 acres and meet certain other criteria are allowed to hunt on their own property.

Sjoberg also suggested attempts at deer contraception, which she said could reduce the herd by 50 percent in six years. [Rooney: This seems far-fetched. I am unaware of any study that has achieved deer reductions with contraception-only as rapidly as they suggest. Fifteen to twenty years is more realistic, assuming annual management of individuals entering the population from elsewhere.]

But one councilman said the decision shouldn't rest with the city. The state gave control over deer hunting and regulation to the Department of Natural Resources, Councilman Thomas Spoelman said.

"It shouldn't be an emotional issue for us — it should be an issue for the DNR," he said. "It's not Ferrysburg's call."

Council directed City Manager Craig Bessinger to stay in contact with Grand Haven about their own deer issues. Council also floated the idea of a possible deer management meeting or group with representatives from Ferrysburg, Grand Haven and Spring Lake.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

PENNSYLVANIA NEWS: Mansfield Council Grapples with Deer

As if it didn't have enough to worry about, borough council can add marauding, shrubbery-eating deer to its list of problems.

Council recently heard from resident Robert Smith of South Academy Street who said deer have eaten most of his outdoor shrubbery. To keep them out of his garden, an electric fence is the only thing that does the job.

Borough manager Ed Grala said Smith is not alone in his problems with the prevalent animals.

"It is a difficult problem, because it's where we live," he said, referring to the rural nature of the area around the borough.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service biologist Jason Wood told borough council that before anything can be done, "they really need to quantify the problem first."

Wood said once that happens, a "management plan" can be developed.

Wood said a survey could be taken by the borough, or the agency could do a high-tech survey to observe the offending behavior at night, when it happens most.

"For us to come in to do a population survey with infrared camera surveys at night to document it could cost as much as $6,000, but if we got the job done for $2,000, that's what they would be billed for," Wood said.

The agency then would use that information to develop a whitetail deer management plan.

"In order for a municipality to proceed with special permits for a controlled hunt or other methods, they have to have a management plan in place. That is the key piece. It is really hard to tell until the counts are done and we assess the problem for what it is. It could be one or two people suffering the damage from a few deer," he added.

Wood said some people put out food for deer and that may be exacerbating the problem.

Grala agreed, adding that some people like to watch deer feeding in their yards.

"Deer are going to come where they can get food. The other thing is, and we didn't even ask the question, if we did eliminate this herd, how long would it take before we have the problem again," he asked.

The problem does appear to be seasonal, peaking in mid- to late summer when maturing vegetable gardens attract deer that seem to have no fear of humans, Grala added.

Grala said one suggestion, which council intends to follow up on, is to see if Mansfield University would like to take a survey on as a class project.

As far as keeping people from deliberately feeding deer, Grala said an ordinance prohibiting that could be passed, but "how would you enforce it?"

Though Grala said he didn't think more urban areas experienced the same problems, Wood disagreed.

"It is a pretty common problem throughout the state, but more of a northeast, southeast situation. It can be urban. It's all relative to the deer population," he said.

"Roughly 99 percent of the calls we get are more urbanized where hunting is not allowed, like big subdivisions, and the deer population hasn't been controlled," Wood added.

Source: Williamsport-Sun Gazette

OHIO NEWS: Dayton Metroparks to Bowhunters: We Need You

Skilled area bow hunters looking for places with plenty of deer should consider taking part in the sixth annual Five Rivers MetroParks controlled deer hunt.

Hunters 18 and older must sign up by Aug. 9 and enter a lottery for the opportunity to hunt deer in selected remote, nonpublic areas of the MetroParks. There is a $5 application fee.

The annual controlled hunts are conducted to manage the size of the herd, minimize deer damage and prevent disease.

“Last year we had 450 apply for 270 spots,” said Michael Enright of the MetroParks. “This year we estimate we’ll have 600 to 800 apply for the same number of spots.”
He said 49 deer were taken last year, and that’s about the number his staff would like to see harvested by this year’s hunts – between 40 and 60.

Interested hunters, who must have a current Ohio hunting license and deer permits, can obtain more information and register online at

After hunters have been picked by lottery, they must pass both a shooting qualification test and orientation, scheduled for Aug. 22-23 at the Gander Mountain store, 8001 Old Troy Pike, Huber Heights. Hunters must have proof they have passed a hunter-education course or may take a test provided by the MetroParks.

Those drawn will be allowed one month to hunt in a selected area and must take an antlerless deer before an antlered deer. The hunting will be scheduled between October and January, and all deer killed count toward a hunter’s annual state bag limits.

Several of the MetroParks hunting areas are within the state’s urban hunting zones.
For more information, contact Enright at or call (937) 277-4109.

“This is a good program for people who are looking for a good place to hunt that’s close to home, and at the same time, it helps us control the size of our deer population,” Enright added.

Source: DaytonDailyNews

Monday, July 20, 2009

OKLAHOMA NEWS: Near Record Deer Harvest in 2008

Oklahoma’s deer harvest numbers from last season have finally been tabulated and hunters had a very good year.

In fact, it was the second highest ever with a total of 111,427 deer taken in the state by hunters. That number is 7,922 shy of the state record in 2006 of 119,349.

Bow hunters had a record year. More deer were checked in last season by bow hunters than ever before in Oklahoma, a total of 17,784.

Oklahoma deer hunters also set a record for the number of antlerless deer that was harvested with 48,358.

The total number of deer checked in by all hunters increased by 16 percent increase from the previous season.

The top producing counties were Osage (4,409), Pittsburg (3,839), Cherokee (3,402) and Atoka (3,062).

Source: NewsOK

OREGON NEWS: Deer Deaths Spread

Black-tailed deer are turning up dead in several rural Jackson County communities in what wildlife officials fear is a new outbreak of a disease associated with backyard feeding that killed hundreds of area deer earlier this decade.

Confirmed and suspected cases of the adenovirus have been found recently outside of Ashland, in the Colestine Valley, rural Gold Hill and outside of Jacksonville, in the highest numbers since 2002, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The highly contagious, quick-killing disease killed "easily hundreds, probably over 1,000" blacktails that summer and fall alone, but no exact estimates of the die-off were known, said Mark Vargas, the ODFW's Rogue District wildlife biologist in Central Point.

"We've seen more now than we've seen since 2002, and I hope it doesn't get worse," Vargas said. "We're hoping it doesn't turn into a big die-off, but we don't know.

"Definitely, we know it's not good," Vargas said.

Similar outbreaks of the disease also are occurring around Bend, and most outbreaks are associated with people setting out food and water for wildlife, said Collin Gillin, the ODFW's state veterinarian who tracks the disease.

The virus can spread as easily as breathing air from an infected animal, so water buckets and grain piles placed by well-intentioned landowners can turn into viral hot-spots that can kill groups of deer in days.

"Congregating deer through feeding is just going to spread it," Gillin said. "It's exacerbating the issue. It's not helping.

"The best thing humans can do is, don't do anything to bring deer together."

First diagnosed in Northern California in the mid-1990s, adenovirus hemorrhagic disease now is believed to have been responsible in the late 1980s for killing hundreds of deer whose deaths originally were attributed to a different disease known as bluetongue.

Infected deer can suffer from bloody diarrhea that can scour the animal or mouth lesions that keep it from feeding.

In some cases, ODFW biologist Steve Niemela said, the deer suffer massive internal hemorrhaging discovered only in field necropsies.

In recent cases, field necropsies revealed a liter or more of liquid in their lungs, Niemela said.

"We're finding more deer described as in good condition other than the fact that they're lying there dead," Niemela said.

Preliminary tests on samples from a deer found dead June 16 near Colestine concluded adenovirus. Not all suspected cases were tested, but the symptoms were similar, he said.

Humans and pets are not considered vulnerable to the virus. While the adenovirus has similar strains affecting cattle and sheep, there are no known instances of the virus spreading from deer to other species.

Placing food or water outside for wildlife is not illegal in Oregon, though a handful of cities, such as Philomath, have adopted anti-feeding ordinances.

Jacksonville considered such an ordinance earlier this year after a ruminitis outbreak was linked to artificial feed, but the city instead has urged residents to stop feeding deer.

"I'm really hoping this doesn't turn into the kind of outbreaks we've had before," Niemela said.

Source: Mail Tribune