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White-tailed Deer in Pennsylvania

White-tailed Deer in Pennsylvania

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White-tailed Deer in Pennsylvania

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  1. White-tailed Deer in Pennsylvania

  2. The only species we manage that, when overpopulation occurs, has a far-reaching impact (consider rabbits or squirrels) • Hunters killed more than 409,000 deer during the 2004-05 deer season, a 12 percent drop from the previous season

  3. Economic Impacts • ~800,000 hunters, 90% hunting deer • 13,955,000 hunting days • Total expenditures – $941,036,000 • Average spent per hunter $914 • Non-resident expenditures in PA – $82.4 million

  4. Economic Benefits • Federal Excise tax on firearms and ammunition • Hunter and trapper education • Gamelands acquisition • Non-game wildlife enhancements • Habitat improvements on private land

  5. Economic Impacts of Wildlife Watching • Participants – 4.8 million • Residents – 1.3 million • Non-residents – 3.4 million • Total expenditures - $962 million • Average spent per person - $253 • Total non-resident expenditures in PA - $95 million

  6. Deer Diseases • Bovine tuberculosis • Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) • Lyme Disease in PA • 1982 – 2 cases • 2003 – 5730 (highest in US) • Foot and Mouth Disease • Epizooitic Hemorrhagic Disease

  7. Deer-Vehicle Collision Impacts • Nationwide • 1.5 million collisions • 29,000 injuries and 210 deaths • $1.3 billion in expenses (2003) • Pennsylvania • 21 deaths from 1996-2001; 14 in 2003 • ~40,000 accidents per year • PA average repair bill - $2,200 • 40,000 x $2,200 = $88,000,000 • doesn’t include personal injury or other property damage • does this effect your insurance rate? • Estimated 100,000 deer die annually;carcass pickup

  8. Deer-Aircraft Collisions • Commercial and private planes commonly hit deer during landing • Many airports must use expensive fencing • 1990 to 2004, over 650 deer-aircraft collisions were reported to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

  9. Crop Damage by Deer • Annual US loss - $500 million • Annual PA loss – $90 million • Average loss per farm - $9,000

  10. Impacts of Deer on Forests • Forest regeneration • 2.1 million acres of state forest land • Bureau of Forestry expense - $2 million on fencing • Biodiversity-plants, songbirds, understory species • Loss of timber production - $400 million annually

  11. Negative Impacts on Communities • Landscaping and ornamentals • Damage to nurseries - $15,000 per member • Control costs - $5,000 per member • Deer-vehicle collisions • Lyme Disease • Community conflicts

  12. Management Options • No population control • Hands off • Damage control – fencing, repellents • Population Control • Non-lethal methods • Habitat alteration • Capture and relocation • Fertility control

  13. Lethal Methods • Predator introduction • Parasite or disease introduction • Poison • Capture and kill – alter regulations, sharp-shooters, etc. • Bait and shoot • Traditional hunting

  14. Damage Control • Fencing • how high? • $180-600/A depending on type & site conditions • maintenance required • aesthetics • Repellents • taste & odor $10-400/acre for chemicals; labor? • noise-makers • Supplemental feeding-draw them to food

  15. Deer Exclosures

  16. Dominance off Ferns

  17. Habitat Alteration Reduce food and/or cover; carrying capacity differs by habitat • Seedling/sapling stage - 60 deer per mi2 • Pole timber – 5 deer per mi2 • Saw timber – 20 deer per mi2

  18. Capture & Relocation • Drive nets, tranquilizer darts, etc. • $100-800 per deer depending on technique • Stress and injury to deer (and handlers) • Most areas already overpopulated with deer • Unfamiliarity with new area – estimated ¾ die within one year

  19. Fertility Control • Steroidal “birth control pills”; how long does it last? • GonaCon and Spayvac; neither are approved • Immunocontraceptives • Neutering • Expense, non-target effects (can they be eaten?) • Must impact a large % of females • Maximal effect may take 5+ years

  20. Predator Introduction…right!

  21. Hunting What are the PROs and CONs? How to do it?

  22. The Bambi Syndrome