Last week for first year of Oak Bay deer contraception campaign

Photo contest winner to be announced Saturday at Monterey Rec.

Sixty black-tailed does who frequent Oak Bay have received the immunocontraceptive vaccine this fall.

The Urban Wildlife Stewardship Society program, in tandem with the District of Oak Bay and funding from the province.

“We have done a very good job of getting the majority of does,” said Kristy Kilpatrick of UWSS.

Earlier this year, surveys estimated District’s deer population to be between 78 and 128 black-tailed deer (with an esitmate between 60 or 70 per cent of those being female).

“We are 95 per cent confident that 128 deer is the number in Oak Bay so 60 is the right number,” Kilpatrick said. “And it’s a really great number, getting 60 does is pretty awesome.”

Crews will continue working until next week but are no longer sedating new does, said Oak Bay Mayor Kevin Murdoch.

READ MORE: Oak Bay deer contraception program underway

Rather, they are working to administer the secondary booster to as many of the already inoculated deer that they can track down. The boosters increase the effectiveness of the contraceptive.

The deer who were administered the immunocontraceptive vaccine were tagged, and are visually identifiable by the tag, but are not tracked by GPS.

The crew has boostered 50 of the 60 and there is a lot of community support to help find the final 10 deer, Kilpatrick said.

Sedation for the secondary booster is unnecessary as it is administered by dart.

Oak Bay staff are preparing a report on the project, which Murdoch expects in the next few weeks.

The District has an Oct. 30 deadline to apply for another year of cost-sharing through the Provincial Urban Deer CostShare Program.

On Saturday, the UWSS nature and wildlife photography contest winner will be announced at Monterey Recreation Centre, where photo submissions have been on display and have been voted on by the public. There is an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. with a winner announced at 3 p.m.

READ ALSO: Immunocontraception the humane solution to Oak Bay’s deer problem

reporter@oakbaynews.com

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