I am thankful to have attended last week’s Oak Bay council and the Capital Regional District meeting relating to deer management.
It was gratifying to see that there is growing openness to a non-lethal approach to population reduction of deer when there is a perception of overabundance. I’m grateful for the recently formed Urban Wildlife Stewardship Society. It has an enthusiastic board and six wildlife biologists, and access to the SpayVac contraceptive. With pilot project plans to study the little understood behaviour of urban deer, including an Oak Bay count and compassionately tended traps, the UWSS is applying to humanely vaccinate up to 25 does in Oak Bay over an appropriate span of time.
The UWSS has raised about $12,000 in contributions from a supportive public before Oak Bay council granted $5,000, conditional on the receipt of permits, and once a formal application is concluded, $35,000 from the CRD. The SPCA had opposed Oak Bay’s deer cull, but is supportive of the contraceptive project.