Greater Victoria municipalities hope for region-wide effort to control deer population

Greater Victoria municipalities hope for region-wide effort to control deer population

Capital Region mayors hope deer birth control measures could expand beyond Oak Bay

Mayors from across the capital region are banding together to tackle the issues with the local deer populations.

After a mayors’ luncheon hosted by the Township of Esquimalt, most regional mayors agreed to signing a joint letter drafted to the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development asking Minister Doug Donaldson to support a region-wide deer management strategy.

Working individually, said Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins, takes too much time and resources with little efficacy.

READ MORE: Esquimalt considers birth control for its deer population

“Right now it takes three years of counting deer, plus surveys, plus ongoing consultations which are really costly and which don’t make any changes to the deer population,” Desjardins said. “I want to make sure we get all the signatures we possibly can. We know that united we’ll do better.”

Presently the province holds all governance over animal control, and traditionally only approved culling or translocation of deer as population growth deterrent measures. However, studies pointed out by the Township of Esquimalt indicated that neither of these options are good solutions, stating that culling is inhumane and ineffective since voids in one region are quickly filled by deer from another region.

This summer the District of Oak Bay is undergoing an experimental campaign to sterilize deer in an effort approved by the province for research purposes. The District is giving immuno-contraception to a portion of the deer population throughout the summer and into the fall.

ALSO READ: Confrontation with deer sends cyclist to hospital in Oak Bay

In March 2019 the Township of Esquimalt voted to also move forward in pursuing birth control options for local deer, after conducting two surveys in Esquimalt and on the the CFB Esquimalt. The surveys showed that the Township has 135 black tail deer, while the base has around 60. Comparatively, Oak Bay has between 78 and 128 deer.

Esquimalt also learned that 52 per cent of residents have spent money to prevent deer from damaging their property, while 13 per cent have encountered aggressive behaviour from deer.

So far Esquimalt, Oak Bay and View Royal have signed the letter, and this week the City of Victoria will bring up the letter for discussion at the committee of the whole meeting. The District Saanich also voiced support for the idea.

ALSO READ: Oak Bay one step closer to deer immunocontraceptive test

“I’ve been putting deer management on our discussion for strategic plan of many years now. I hear from citizens that they’re frustrated whether deer are eating vegetables or flowers, or if there are concerns of drivers hitting deer.” said Victoria City Coun. Charleyne Thornton-Joe, who is bringing the letter forward along with Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps. “It really makes sense, the deer have no boundaries,”

Other concerns, she said, include encounters between deer, dogs and people, and a fear of ticks and disease in relation to high deer populations.

So far, the City of Victoria has not conducted any counts or surveys, but Thornton-Joe said she hopes this can be organized with some provincial support.

“Until we can teach deer to read a sign and listen to municipal boundaries, we need to do this as a regional effort,” Thornton-Joe said.

Municipal leaders are hoping the letter can be signed and forwarded to the Minister in time for it to be discussed at the upcoming Union of BC Municipalities convention in September.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

City of Victoria

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

Just Posted

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death of North Saanich likely first in B.C. for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Sidney's Beacon Wharf
Pontoon company piqued at prospect of public-private partnership around Sidney wharf

Seagate approached to submit proposeal for public-private partnership

Located at 9750 West Saanich Rd., this North Saanich mansion is on the market for $10.25 million. (Realtor.ca photo)
Located at 9750 West Saanich Rd., this North Saanich mansion is on the market for $8.65 million. (Realtor.ca photo)
The five most expensive homes for sale in Greater Victoria

A roundup of luxury estates currently on the market

Jimmy Fallon joked that a woman’s 4.5-star review of a Langford jail is “the most Canadian thing you could do” in The Tonight Show Jan. 21. (Screenshot/YouTube)
VIDEO: Jimmy Fallon jokes Canadian jails are basically hotels following woman’s 4.5-star review

Woman gave handwritten card to police following stay in Langford cells

The District of Saanich’s communications team decided to take part in a viral trend on Thursday and photoshopped U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders into a staff meeting photo. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Bernie Sanders makes guest appearance at Saanich staff meeting

Sidney firefighters jump on viral trend of photoshopped U.S. senator

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Terry Keogh, an RDN Transit driver, used his paramedic skills the morning of Jan. 22 after coming across an unconscious woman along his route in downtown Nanaimo. (RDN Transit photo)
Nanaimo transit driver stops his bus and helps get overdosing woman breathing again

Former EMT from Ireland performed CPR on a woman in downtown Nanaimo on Friday

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

An Atlantic salmon is seen during a Department of Fisheries and Oceans fish health audit at the Okisollo fish farm near Campbell River, B.C. in 2018. The First Nations Leadership Council says an attempt by industry to overturn the phasing out of salmon farms in the Discovery Islands in contrary to their inherent Title and Rights. (THE CANADIAN PRESS /Jonathan Hayward photo)
First Nations Leadership Council denounces attempt to overturn salmon farm ban

B.C.’s producers filed for a judicial review of the Discovery Islands decision Jan. 18

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

More than 100 B.C. fishermen, fleet leaders, First Nations leaders and other salmon stakeholders are holding a virtual conference Jan. 21-22 to discuss a broad-range of issues threatening the commercial salmon fishery. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. commercial salmon fishermen discuss cures for an industry on the brink

Two-day virtual conference will produce key reccomendations for DFO

Black Press file photo
Investigation at remote burned-out Vancouver Island cabin reveals human remains

Identity of victim not released, believed to be the owner of an SUV vehicle found parked nearby

Angela Waldick is the new team photographer for the Nanaimo NightOwls. (Nanaimo NightOwls photo)
Half-blind photographer will help new Island baseball team look picture-perfect

Nanaimo NightOwls say legally blind team photographer is making history

School District 57 headquarters in Prince George. (Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Prince George school district settles with sexual abuse victim

Terms were part of an out-of-court settlement reached with Michael Bruneau, nearly four years after he filed a lawsuit

Most Read