Satellite collars are part of the ongoing research for the Oak Bay and Provincial urban deer management program.

Who’s that sharp-dressed deer?!

Collars and cameras provide essential info about urban deer before plan’s contraceptive stage

Oak Bay residents might have noticed the neighbourhood deer sporting some new neckwear lately … and that’s a good thing!

The satellite collars – a standard research tool for wildlife studies worldwide – are part of the ongoing research for the Oak Bay and Provincial urban deer management program, implemented by the science-based, non-profit Urban Wildlife Stewardship Society. Paired with photographic evidence, the GPS-enabled collars help track doe movement – vital for the next step in efforts to create a more manageable urban deer population.

“If you do anything without the appropriate research and knowing their movement patterns, it’s just a Band-Aid, not a solution,” says the UWSS’s Kristy Kilpatrick. “We’re hopeful all the permits will be in place this fall, before rutting season, to administer the first immuno-contraceptive, which will offer a long-term, cost-effective and humane way to gradually reduce and stabilize the deer population.”

This study is funded by the Province of British Columbia, the Municipality of Oak Bay, and donations from UWSS supporters, and its methods have undergone rigorous review and meet regulations put in place by the Canadian Council on Animal Care and BC Fish and Wildlife. It is also endorsed by the BC SPCA.

Here’s how it works: This spring, 20 female deer received GPS collars, which twice daily for two years will transmit the doe’s location via satellite to researchers. The colour-coded reflective tags attached to the collars help mitigate night vehicle mortality and identify individuals at a distance, in person and by strategically placed wildlife field cameras. Taken together, this will help determine just how many deer actively live in Oak Bay, their movement patterns and other important deer ecology.

Avoid conflict with protective deer

As you stroll your neighbourhood or walk your dog, be aware that does will often act in a protective manner if you happen to be near a fawn – even if you can’t see the young animal. DO keep dogs leashed and walking near you, and DO NOT release the leash – to the deer, a dog (no matter what size or age) is a predator.

Try changing direction or your route or go back the way you came. And if a doe seems to be following you, she may simply be trying to confirm that you are moving away from a hidden fawn, Kilpatrick advises.

Slow down: While awareness is good advice while walking, it’s also important while driving: “Slow down and scan ahead,” advises Kilpatrick. Keep your eyes on high alert, especially in the early morning and at dusk when deer are more often active, or when they may be by the road side, and remember that deer are rarely alone – others may follow behind or dart into your path if they have been spooked. Young deer may not recognize vehicles as a threat, and regardless of age, headlights can confuse and cause deer to freeze or act unpredictably.

For more information about the Oak Bay/Provincial/UWSS deer management plan or to get a deer awareness sign to post in your community, contact UWSS today!

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Oak Bay Police melt dozens of guns into metal cube

Set of rare dueling muskets could go to museum

VicPD seek missing 82-year-old man with long grey beard

Arthur Shaw was last seen Dec. 6, those who see him should call 911

Victoria looks to suspend taxi obligations as ride hailing services arrive

Ten ride hailing companies are set to come to Greater Victoria in the new year

Judge’s decision set for January in dangerous driving trial for crash that left Saanich girl unresponsive

Tenessa Nikirk is charged with one count of dangerous driving after Leila Bui was struck in 2017

B.C. woman charged in connection to stolen vehicle smash-up in Kamloops

Kersten Ina Peters was arrested in the Fraser Valley on Friday, Dec. 6

POLL: Do you have a real or artificial Christmas tree?

The lights are up, holiday shoppers are bustling through the streets and… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Dec. 10

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

The Russell Troupe finds a comfort zone in small Island community

Family gathering with two parents and five kids a common scene around Chemainus

Salmonella outbreak in Canada linked to rodents and snakes

92 cases of salmonella across six provinces, including B.C.

Meng Wanzhou wins right to more documents involving arrest at Vancouver airport

Defence lawyers allege the Huawei executive was unlawfully detained, searched and interrogated

Truck with body inside found at bottom of lake near Kootenay ferry

Investigators believe no foul play is expected but are unsure how the vehicle ended up in the Arrow Lakes

VIDEO: Calgary man narrowly escapes from avalanche while running at Lake Louise

Bryon Howard caught the entire wild experience on camera

Most Read