Saturday, May 11, 2013

Nanaimo Deer Survey to 80 homes

Survey suggests many Nanaimo residents believe deer population should be controlled

Tamara Cunningham, Daily News

Published: Thursday, May 02, 2013
Nanaimo's urban deer population needs to be controlled by stricter bylaws and catch-and-release programs, suggest people polled in a Vancouver Island University survey.
Nanaimo officials have long acknowledged an "overpopulation" of urban black-tailed deer, but a recent VIU student survey shows people want the city to roll out more stringent measures to deal with the problem.
Sixty-one per cent of people polled say they favour the municipal government intervening with the urban deer population with stricter bylaw enforcement, a catch-and-release program or controlled hunting. Forty-nine per cent of people consider the deer population to be too large, blaming it on housing development and plentiful food within the city.
Fred Pattje, Nanaimo's acting mayor, has not seen the report, but said it is information city staff members could take into account if considering further wildlife management strategies.
He can see the City of Nanaimo mulling more enforcement and education, but said he believes the city is not ready for a cull.
The survey was sent out at random to 80 Nanaimo homes with a 51 per cent response rate.
"We have encroached on (deer) territory in a major way . . . a cull is the ultimate thing but I am not sure we are ready for it," he said. "It would be my very last option."
The survey, a conservation outreach project by three VIU biology students, explores the public perspective on Nanaimo's the black-tailed deer population. It's authors say they the results show a basic trend in public opinion, but a more comprehensive study is needed to better aid with wildlife management efforts.
In the study, 49 per cent of people feel the urban deer population is too large and associated with issues like car collisions and property damage. Thirty-one per cent of people favoured stricter city bylaws to prevent residents from feeding deer, while 19 per cent equally favoured controlled hunting or capture-and-relocate programs to manage the population.
"One of the things that surprised me about this is how many members of the public thought action was required by the city . . . because the city and province don't seem willing to tackle (the issue) at this point," said co-author, Jessica Semper. "While (a anti-feeding bylaw) has been implemented, it doesn't seem to be enforced to heavily."
Six warnings and three fines have been issued since the City of Nanaimo started enforcing its deer feeding ban in 2011, including two tickets to the same person.


  1. I don't see the problem. We should be so lucky to live in a city and see should beautiful creatures at our "door steps". They are very interesting to watch. We, the car drives could certainly SLOW in the deer popular area. As to our gardens, fence if you don't want the deer to eat it, or plant what they don't like.

  2. Nature will balance a problem over time. We don't need those who think they are superior, to make life and death desicions for those species that are not a threat to any of us.
    Flowers???Garden??? I would rather see the deer around my home fending for themselves as they should do. A lot more preferable than the neighbours dog barking all hours of the day abd night. How about some bylaw enforcement on those things that should be controlled. Pet ownership has responsabilites and one should have to prove they are responsible to own one. The deer do absolutely no harm to me or my property, but a a constant source of joy to see them enjoying life.
    Those who think they are superior and cull animals today, will tomorrow want to cull the old or the poor.
    Be careful to monitor what goes on in your community.
    "YOUR CULL MAY COME" just as it did in the 40's.


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