Deer damaging parks on west side of Windsor
City naturalist says "all the options" to be considered for controlling deer
A naturalist with the City of Windsor says deer are damaging parks, and the city is contemplating how to handle the problem.
Karen Cedar says the city is still gathering information to determine how many deer can be sustained in the natural areas on the west side of Windsor.
Last winter, an aerial survey was done. Experts counted "at least 100" deer, although Cedar said there could be more of the animals because something that looks like a log from the air could be a deer lying down.
"You see aerial photographs and our open prairie looks like a plate of spaghetti because of all the deer trails," Cedar told CBC's Windsor Morning.
Our open prairie looks like a plate of spaghetti because of all the deer trails.- Karen Cedar
"That shows you that the habitat is definitely taking some damage from the excessive numbers."
Cedar said when she began working at Ojibway Park, it was rare to see any deer. Now, it's unusual not to run across several of them within five minutes.
Other areas kill, sterilize deer to control populations
Last month, 21 deer were shot at Point Pelee National Park as part of long-term campaign to bring the number of deer down to a level that is healthy for the vegetation.
In Ann Arbor, wildlife officials are sterilizing female deer, and killing others, to reduce the population.
Cedar said the City of Windsor is still gathering information, and no decisions have been made about how to control the population.
"We would certainly have to look at all the options. Being in an urban area has challenges, and there'd be a lot of consultation I'm sure before any decision was made," Cedar said.
For now, Cedar is urging people in Windsor not to feed deer, because that encourages them to reproduce more.
With files from Windsor Morning