Monday, March 1, 2010

The Deer Balancing Act

What does is really mean to “balance” the deer herd? Wildlife biologists use this terminology quite often. But how many of us really know just exactly what they are trying to accomplish, how we go about it, or how we know when we have gotten there. The natural resource educators from Penn State Cooperative Extension are offering a number of programs this spring that may help answer those questions.

Overabundant deer populations pose serious issues for many homeowners, agricultural producers, woodland owners, as well as the public at large. Safety issues such as Lyme disease and deer-vehicle collisions have impacted many people. A Maryland survey found that 1 in 6 citizens know someone who has experienced a deer-vehicle collision. Many agricultural producers suffer significant losses to deer. Homeowners suffer thousands of dollars in damage to their landscapes and deer have reduced the biodiversity of our woodlands by selectively browsing vegetation. Managing deer populations so they are in balance with the available habitat is essential.

To read the full story go to the Pennsylvania Forest Stewardship News release.

A web seminar will be offered by Penn State Extension may help answer some of your questions. The webinar is entitled Deer Habitat Management is offered on March 9 at noon and again at 7:00 PM. For webinar details and registration go to the PA Forests Web Seminar Center.

Penn State Extension Educators will also be offering a number of hands on workshops entitled “Deer Density and Carrying Capacity Workshops.” These workshops are designed for those interested in learning more about white-tailed deer biology and habitat. The workshop teaches how to evaluate a given habitat and how it relates to deer biology, numbers, and carrying capacity. For a listing of dates and locations go to the Penn State Natural Resources Extension Web Calendar

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