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Re: No Fences?

  • Subject: Re: No Fences?
  • From: Marie <hostas@gmx.at>
  • Date: Fri, 2 Aug 2002 03:02:15 +0200 (MEST)

> Hi Marie,
>         My sister works for the Nature Conservancy and she and another
> employee were taken up in a helicopter over the woods by US Forrestry
> people. On the trip they explained what the deer problem was. Of course,
> we
> have eliminated all natural predators, so that's one part of the problem.
> The main cause for the vastly increased size of the deer herd in the
> eastern
> US, though, is development. It's largely unregulated here and more and
> more
> woods are cut down for housing developments. Many people erroneously think
> the deer are being displaced by this and thus moving into the housing
> developments. What really is happening is that deer do not live in the
> interior woods at all because there is very little food under the canopy
> layer. They actually live only around the edges of woods where foliage is
> abundant. They do not even venture very far into the woods in search of
> food
> as clearings only a little ways in were entirely ungrazed while the edges
> were stripped bare. The more we develop, the more edges we make, hence the
> more richly foliaged habitat we create. Like most grazing animals, their
> population will increase in the absence of predators and the presence of a
> large food supply. It is estimated now that the white-tailed deer herd is
> 4-5 times the size it was at the turn of the last century.
>          They are pushy and territorial and will move right into feeding
> in
> your yard and no matter how many times you chase them off, they come right
> back, usually trying different times of day. They will freely experiment
> with eating new foods and stick with anything they like. When food gets
> scarce in winter, they will happily eat the things they don't like.
> Nothing
> other than dogs or fences will keep them out if they are hungry enough.
> Planting only plants they don't prefer is a foolish suggestion, as
> allowing
> them to roam your yard will expose you to their worst characteristic ---
> Lyme disease. Very small (approximately 1/32 inch or 1/2 mm) ticks carry
> this disease and are called Deer Ticks because deer are the primary
> animals
> that bring them into a new area. If you live in a Lyme disease area and
> have
> deer getting into your yard, it is a matter of time before you start
> finding
> deer ticks attached to you. They are easily missed and the risk of Lyme is
> high. I know many people who have had Lyme, including Barry Yinger who
> recently had to cancel tours of his garden because of his problems with
> the
> disease. Then there are the car accidents. Over 50,000 dead deer were
> removed from the roads of Pennsylvania alone last year.
>          We have an increasingly difficult problem with them here in the
> US
> and our government seems at a loss as to how to handle it. I think we need
> to eliminate at least 75% of the herd to get things to a more stable
> level.
> On the plus side, that would be a lot of food for the poor.
> .......Bill Meyer
> Hi Bill! 
We have similar problems with deer - no natural predators etc. but they are
also heavily hunted to keep the populations down, (which is not working
everywhere. )They are fed during the wintermonths by foresters/hunters to keep
damage down on young trees. Our settlements don`t usually border woodlands
directly...they are surrounded by fields, meadows etc. and the woods start a bit
further off. The odd house might be next to the wood, but most people have
high hedges around their property (cypresses or Thuja), which are actually not
limited in height and are seemly impassable for deer. The animals have plenty
of food to choose from, so I guess they don`t need to venture into gardens...


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