A doe with the new GPS collar and identification tags. The collars are GPS radio collars that allow the research team to track the does movements though satellites. They are the lightest-weight collars on the market (3 lbs) and have a timed drop-off mechanism. When the collars are put on, the timer starts and the collars drop off on their own after two years. (Keri Coles/Oak Bay News)

A doe with the new GPS collar and identification tags. The collars are GPS radio collars that allow the research team to track the does movements though satellites. They are the lightest-weight collars on the market (3 lbs) and have a timed drop-off mechanism. When the collars are put on, the timer starts and the collars drop off on their own after two years. (Keri Coles/Oak Bay News)

10 does down, 10 to go in GPS collar phase of Oak Bay deer plan

Urban Wildlife Stewardship Society aim to collar 20 female deer as part of deer reduction plan

Oak Bay residents may be noticing some new bling on a few select deer in the community as Urban Wildlife Stewardship Society captures and collars 20 female deer in Oak Bay as part of their UWSS Deer Plan.

The research team began collaring on Feb. 28, heading out in the early morning hours, before the streets got busy, to find and capture the does. The team is halfway through the process now having captured and collared 10 does.

“Because of the dangly bits on the collar, people are probably concerned about them getting entangled. But because of the size and lightweight nature of the collar and because the tags themselves are made of plastic and are quite flexible, it would be impossible for a deer to get entangled. The tag would bend and give way long before the deer got entangled,” said Steve Huxter, project manager.

The collars are GPS radio collars that allow the research team to track the does movements though satellites. They are the lightest-weight collars on the market (3 lbs) and have a timed drop-off mechanism. When the collars are put on, the timer starts and the collars drop off on their own after two years.

“We will be getting transmissions for two years hopefully for all 20 does,” said Huxter.

The collaring is a phase of the UWSS project to develop and implement a deer reduction plan using fertility control. The plan is to count, document travel and eventually inoculate local female deer with immunocontraceptives.

This phase of the project is a combination of tracking the does movements through the GPS collars and also identifying deer through a camera trap survey. There are 37 motion and infrared cameras in place around the community that aid the team with density and population estimates by photographing not just the collared deer but all deer that pass by. Each collared doe has a unique colour combination of plastic ID tags attached to her collar to allow for easy identification in the photos.

The information collected will give the municipality a better understanding of deer densities, range, population dynamics and dispersal rates and inform future management decisions.

To attach the collars, the does are sedated and assessed through a brief physical exam before being tagged and collared. The whole process from the initial sedation to waking up and being on her feet again takes approximately half an hour, with no side effects.

The teams hope is to start the inoculation process in late July or early August. They will apply for a permit to dart the 20 does they collared to inoculate them with the contraceptive vaccine.

“It is a test trial. Darting with the vaccine hasn’t been done in Canada before so this is a trial to see how it works. When the next fawning season comes around, we can see if a tagged deer has fawns or doesn’t have fawns,” said Huxter.

The overall goal of the management plan is to gradually reduce the number of urban deer using a science-based, non-lethal approach.

RELATED: Experts to capture and collar 20 female deer in Oak Bay starting this month

RELATED: Oak Bay wants more doe from province

RELATED: UWSS lays out deer plan for Oak Bay (2016)

RELATED: Oak Bay plans to apply for provincial cash to further deer contraception plan

RELATED: Oak Bay scores provincial funds to count deer


 

keri.coles@oakbaynews.com

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

urban deer management

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Supporter Gordy Dodd cheers on HeroWork Victoria executive director Trevor Botkin, who will be in a lift for 36 hours beside Dodd’s Furniture and Mattress on April 16 and 17 to raise funds for the organization’s next project, a makeover of the Salvation Army’s Addiction and Rehabilitation Centre on Johnson Street. (Courtesy HeroWork Victoria)
HeroWork Victoria tackles makeover of Salvation Army rehab centre

Executive director to spend 36 hours living in a lift as fundraiser

Grandmothers to Grandmothers is a campaign that connects Canadian grandmothers with grandmothers in Africa who are caring for children orphaned by AIDS. Here, they are in Kakuto, Uganda in 2018. (Kibuuka Mukisa Oscar photo)
Greater Victoria and African grandmothers celebrate solidarity with virtual concert

Grandmothers to Grandmothers supports women in Africa caring for children orphaned by AIDS

Naloxone is used to treat opioid overdoses. (Black Press Media files)
Island Health issues overdose advisory for Greater Victoria

The advisory directs bystanders to an overdose to call 911 and administer naloxone

West Shore RCMP is seeking information about a collision involving a car and a bicycle on Six Mile Road, near the Island Highway, at 11:30 a.m. on April 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore RCMP seeks information about collision between bike, car

Collision occured on Six Mile Road on April 7 and a bystander got the blue car’s plate number

Oak Bay Police. (Black Press File Photo)
Driver caught accelerating to twice the speed limit through Oak Bay school zone

Officers also responded to impaired drivers and multiple thefts last week

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

Two men were seen removing red dresses alongside the Island Highway in Oyster Bay. (Submitted photo)
Two men filmed removing red dresses from trees on highway near Ladysmith

Activists hung the dresses to raise awareness for Vancouver Island’s Murdered/Missing Women & Girls

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

RCMP on scene yesterday at the altercation at the trailer park. (Submitted photo)
Violent altercation at Port Hardy trailer park sends one to hospital

Police say man confronted another over airsoft shooting, then was attacked with a weapon

John Albert Buchanan was found guilty of manslaughter in the 2017 death of Richard Sitar. Pictured here, Buchanan walking to the court in Nanaimo last year. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Six years including time served for Nanaimo man in bludgeoning death

John Albert Buchanan sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo for death of Richard Sitar

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

Facebook screenshot of the sea lion on Holberg Road. (Greg Clarke Facebook video)
VIDEO: Sea lion randomly spotted on remote B.C. logging road

Greg Clarke was driving home on the Holberg Road April 12, when he saw a large sea lion.

Defence counsel for the accused entered two not guilty pleas by phone to Grand Forks Provincial Court Tuesday, Jan. 12. File photo
B.C. seafood company owner fined $25K for eating receipt, obstructing DFO inspection

Richmond company Tenshi Seafood is facing $75,000 in fines as decided March 4 by a provincial court judge

Most Read