Farewell to long-time supporter Marion Cumming

Farewell to long-time supporter Marion Cumming

It is with sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Marion Cumming.  Marion was one of the founding members of the Urban Wildlife Stewardship Society, creating our logo, providing us with artwork that many of you have seen on our cards, and always encouraging and supporting our research and work. Marion had an extraordinary connection to all urban wildlife, she welcomed deer and all animals onto her very special property that she has now donated to the Victoria Native Friendship Centre.

 We will greatly miss Marion’s gentle, optimistic, and eternally cheerful support.

https://www.saanichnews.com/community/oak-bay-artist-activist-remembered-in-part-for-her-final-gift-of-reconciliation/

Keep your eyes peeled!

Keep your eyes peeled!

Starting this Monday, you’ll be seeing our team out in Oak Bay doing collar checks. We want to make sure that as some of the deer have grown, their collars aren’t too tight. We’ll be making sure that collars fit snugly enough that there is room for two or three fingers under the collars (as seen to the left), but not loose enough that they could snag on bushes.

So if you see our team out and about in our high visibility vests, please feel free to let us know if you’ve seen any deer that we should try to check. You can also email us at info@uwss.ca.

The partnership continues!

The partnership continues!

We are happy to confirm that another year of provincial and municipal funding has been approved for this multi-year research project on urban deer and the impact of immuno-contraception (IC) as a  deer population management tool.  The Provincial Urban Deer Cost Share Project (PUDAC) has accepted the 2022 application prepared by the UWSS on behalf of Oak Bay.

In 2022 the data collection and analysis will continue, allowing our scientists to determine the impact of the decrease in fawn abundance on the adult deer population, as fewer fawns will be maturing into adulthood.  You will also see our field team out and about in their flashy orange vests, in early to mid-April, checking on collar fits and anything else that may need our attention.  We’ve really appreciated community eyes on Oak Bay’s deer, letting us know if a collar appears too tight, or if one of the tagged deer has an injury.  Whenever possible, we really appreciate photographs (taken safely) and locations, which can be sent to info@uwss.ca

The results are in once more!

The results are in once more!

Expanding on the 2019 findings of where deer can be found in Oak Bay, we have been able to identify that deer hone in on areas with lush green vegetation and large-sized residential lots (as well as parks, green spaces, and golf courses). Results of our research to date indicate that the conversion of the historic drought-resistant Garry oak ecosystems into the lush, landscaped urban environment of Oak Bay is likely supporting an urban Columbian black-tailed deer population more than the native Garry oak ecosystem would.

Additionally, after just one year of immunocontraception (IC: in the fall of 2019), the relative abundance of fawns decreased by nearly 60% in 2020. The adult deer population has stayed largely constant over the first year of IC (approx. 100 deer in all of Oak Bay), but the decrease in the abundance of fawns should result in a decrease in adult deer as fewer fawns will be maturing into adulthood.

For more information, please go to our research page: https://uwss.ca/our-research/

We’ll keep you updated!

2021 Oaky Bay results
Did the COVID-19 lockdowns impact wildlife?

Did the COVID-19 lockdowns impact wildlife?

The COVID-19 lockdown impacted nature in many different ways, including giving us the opportunity to watch wildlife in our backyards. Our lead scientist on the Oak Bay and Esquimalt deer projects, Jason T. Fisher, and his lab also had the opportunity to see how wildlife in Alberta responded during this time. Featured in the Nature of Things documentary, Nature’s Big Year, Jason retrieved astonishing lockdown images from wildlife camera traps in Alberta’s Bighorn Backcountry. “We were stunned to find out what wolves were doing during lockdown. They’re the apex predators, so their behaviour has a ripple effect on the entire food chain.”

Read more about the documentary at https://www.cbc.ca/natureofthings/episodes/natures-big-year or watch it on the CBC site, left.