Hastings-on-Hudson Mayor Peter Swiderski says “people are having their little chuckles” when they learn about his city’s deer birth control program. Yet, despite the giggles, the program is confronting a serious problem: the over-population of deer in the area.
The suburban village which overlooks the Hudson River is just two square miles, and its area is being overrun by its pesky four legged residents. The deer chew threw gardens, overrun woods, and have caused more than a dozen car crashes.
Instead of turning to bullets, city officials looked for a more scientific and humane approach for controlling the growing deer population. Ultimately, they found a program that captures female white-tailed deer and injected them with a contraceptive made from pigs’ ovaries.
Mayor Swiderski tells the Daily record:
“We’re hearing all about ‘Don’t kill Bambi’ and all the jokes about deer condoms. People are having their little chuckles. But deer have a pretty big negative effect on the community.”
The plan has already been approved by the state Department of Environmental Conservation, and it will begin in winter 2013. Officials hope to tranquilize 90 percent of the does in Hastings. The does will be tagged and released.
Officials decided to slow population growth after more than 120 deer were spotted. Sixty deer per square mile is three times the national average for deer populations.
Over the next five years, Hastings officials hope to reduce the population by up to 40 percent.
Cities all over the country are looking for ways to curb deer population growth. If this program is successful, it could serve as a model for other locations all over the United States.
Hopefully there are no catholic deer in the towns woods.
Do you think deer birth control is a silly idea or a great humane way to slow the population of a species that quickly expands with intervention?