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.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Victoria immigrant centre’s refugee housing lands in Oak Bay

Partnership project officially announced for World Refugee Day

Marijuana to be legal in Canada Oct. 17: Trudeau

Prime Minister made the announcement during question period in the House of Commons

Plans rejigged for new Crystal Pool and Wellness Centre

Visitors to open house see plans for fitness facility, main pool with movable floor

Two people taken into custody after TD bank robbery

VicPD say an individual left the building with an undisclosed amount of cash

UPDATE: Search continuing for missing kayaker in East Sooke

A witness saw the man paddling out from the marina in a kayak

In reversal, Trump signs executive order to stop family separation

President had been wrongly insisting he had no choice but to separate families apprehended at border

Police look for driver of blue Jeep who may have helped at fatal crash

A 19-year-old girl was killed in a crash near Delta on June 2

POLL: Do you have a family doctor?

“I don’t have a family doctor,” is an all too familiar phrase… Continue reading

Conservationists, industry react to fish farm provisions

New provincial regulations to take effect by 2022

B.C. ‘will be ready’ for marijuana legalization

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says some stores open by Oct. 17

UPDATED: Polygamous wife appeals conviction in B.C. child bride case

Emily Blackmore was found guilty of taking her underage daughter to U.S. to marry church leader

Marine trail planned for Discovery Islands

Agreements with First Nations vital for passage through traditional territories

B.C. sets deadline for Indigenous salmon farm consent

All 120 operations will need agreements by 2022, province says

Family of 4 from Oregon believed to be missing in northern B.C.

RCMP, Search and Rescue crews searching area where vehicle was abandoned

Most Read