Deer Management Strategies

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White tailed deer populations (Odocoileus virginianus) have become troublesome in the United States over the past hundred years. However, deer have not always been a problem in the United States. In the past, natural predators along with hunting by Native Americans, maintained deer populations (Audubon 2003, 3). The arrival of Europeans introduced trade of white-tailed deer products. An exploitation era from about 1850 to 1900 saw dramatic reductions in deer populations (Audubon 2003, 3). Eventually, environmental consciousness, low wildlife numbers and protection laws increased the deer population in the absence of natural predators. The abandonment of agricultural fields and the growing industry of timber harvesting also supported deer populations. Deer continued to thrive, and deer populations grew out of control in suburban and urban areas where few factors were present to limit deer population.


Final project for PLSC480: Urban Ecology, Management of Urban Forest Edges (Spring 2016). Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, University of Maryland, College Park.