Citizen science

Similar to how killer whales can be identified through marks on and behind their dorsal fins, black-tailed deer can also be identified by scars, nicks, limps and other features unique to each individual. Missing or damaged ear tissue is sometimes obvious. Most cuts, scars and tears, especially on the ears, will last and can provide useful identification features throughout the life of the animal.

As Phase One of the Oak Bay deer management project is implemented, the Urban Wildlife Stewardship Society (UWSS) will also continue to collect photos of urban deer in Oak Bay from residents.

These photos will also contribute to a better understanding of deer numbers in Oak Bay, and their movement patterns.

Good quality, digital photos can be taken by anyone. Head-on photos with ears spread are best. Send them by email to: It’s important that the date and exact location (approximate street address) be included with each submission.

We invite everyone with an interest in urban wildlife, and especially deer, to get involved and help us gather this much-needed information. A broad set of easily identifiable individuals can contribute to a reliable estimate of the total population within the community. And that’s an essential first step to responsible management.

Please take care not to approach deer too closely or startle them near a roadway. Also, please do not attempt to take a picture if you are with a dog (and as always, please ensure your dog is on a leash!)

Submitted photos may be used on the uwss website, with your permission.