Deer are a common sight in south Island municipalities and have recently received attention due to human-deer interactions with the residents living alongside them. The most common issues relate to garden damage and car accidents.
While most wildlife issues are the responsibility of the province, municipalities are responsible for creating solutions for their own urban deer management. The solutions chosen by each municipality affect the deer, affect the residents and are funded by local tax dollars – so it is important for residents to be aware of the most effective and humane solutions.
BC SPCA Wild ARC is opposed to culling of urban deer when it is inhumane or there is no scientific justification for lethal measures. Culling is a costly, temporary solution, and Wild ARC instead encourages communities to adopt non-lethal, long-term strategies.
What can you do to lessen the conflict? Here are five simple, humane and effective options:
Don’t feed deer – it encourages them to remain in the area and creates dependency.
Fencing – deer are not likely to jump a fence that they cannot see through.
Deterrents – motion-activated lights, sprinkler systems and banging pots and pans will all deter deer.
Landscaping – deer love certain plants, such as narrow-leaf evergreens, daylilies and tulips, so these should be avoided. Deer will stay away from poisonous, fragrant and prickly plants like daffodils, lavender and rhododendrons. Using these plants will keep deer uninterested in your yard.
Follow the speed limit – respecting traffic laws will result in less deer-related accidents.
Visit the BC SPCA’s website at spca.bc.ca for more information about its Urban Deer Position Statement.