The Urban Wildlife Stewardship Society will begin the next phase of an urban deer management plan to capture and GPS collar 20 does in the District of Oak Bay over the end of February and into early March, weather dependent.
The collars will allow the does to be tracked to gather information on the ecology of urban deer and to develop an understanding of their movement patterns, density and population size. The overall goal of the management plan is to gradually reduce the number of urban deer using a science-based, non-lethal approach.
The does will be sedated and assessed through a brief physical exam. After being fitted for GPS collars and ear tagged for future identification, the does will be closely monitored until the effects of the sedative wear off (approximately 5-10 minutes later). This process of sedating has a history of proven success in our province, and is used regularly by BC Fish & Wildlife.
The field work will be performed by a veterinarian experienced with sedating large wildlife, an expert wildlife researcher, and their team. It will take place at various locations around Oak Bay beginning at dawn on field dates, and a clearly marked crew will be in attendance with stop signs and cones and will be monitoring for pedestrians and traffic to ensure everyone’s safety. The Oak Bay Police and Conservation Officers have been informed of our work.
It’s great to see the fruition of the partnership between the District of Oak Bay and the Province of BC on this research project, and we’re very happy to have the full endorsement of the BC SPCA. Information on urban deer ecology has largely been missing; we believe the data and long term goals will position Oak Bay as a North American leader in effective urban deer management that is consistent with community values around preserving the natural environment and coexisting with indigenous wildlife.