Public Education – Information and Precedents: Effects of Deer Overabundance on Plant Communities
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White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) are present in overwhelming numbers in urban and suburban areas. Forest fragmentation supports populations of the species, which thrives in wooded edges, and those populations drive significant changes to the local plant communities. While researchers and managers know a great deal about these interactions, the general public is not always aware of the nature and severity of the effects of deer on plants. Public desire drives how money for management is applied, so poor communication of research results can reduce the effectiveness of management efforts. Communicating the negative impacts of deer on the environment is necessary to encourage public support for management.