Oak Bay deer contraceptive program seeks OK from property owners

Oak Bay deer contraceptive program seeks OK from property owners
File photo/CHEK
Oak Bay is asking residents to fill out a form if they want to register their property to permit contraceptive application.

Oak Bay residents are now able to grant property access for immuno-contraceptive treatment for the deer that wander around the municipality.

This fall, the Urban Wildlife Society (UWSS), with collaboration with the District of Oak Bay and the provincial government will start applying immuno-contraceptive treatment (IC) via darts to Oak Bay deer in an effort to manage the urban deer population. The district is now asking Oak Bay owners to grant them property access to administer the treatment.

To grant access, residents will have to fill out their name and address. They will have to answer yes or no to the question: “Do deer frequently access your property?” If they answer yes, they can indicate where (e.g. front yard, backyard). They will also be asked if they grant the Urban Wildlife Society access to dart the deer. They can also share any additional information, such as deer location and pets on the property.

The UWSS will be looking for deer between 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. from September to October. According to the district, over time, the immune-contraction is projected to slow population growth. The district also states in a public notice “the data collected will provide important insight about the population of deer that we are striving to manage as a community.”

In 2016, the Oak Bay council signed onto a provincial urban deer cost-share research program with the UWSS. The program includes public education, data collection and analysis – with the goal of better understanding population numbers, deer ecology and movement of the deer population. Twenty does have been GPS collared and tagged and there are 39 camera traps across Oak Bay.

The UWSS is a non-profit citizen-led group that works with independent, expert wildlife scientists and veterinarians to focus on a scientific and evidence-based approach to deer population management. In February they showed research findings to the Oak Bay council, which said there are an estimated 100 deer in Oak Bay but they are not spread evenly throughout the district.

For more information on urban deer and the immuno-contraceptive treatment, and to fill out the form, visit the district website here.


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