Deer Damages In Yards and Gardens
Deer cause hundreds of millions of dollars in damage every year to landscaping and
gardens. There is a very serious deer problem in the United States and in many parts of the world. More than $50 million is spent on deer repellents in the United States each year.
Deer Damage On Farms
Deer damage is a very serious problem for farmers, with estimates of damage being in the billions of dollars each year. In Wisonsin alone deer damage costs 37 million dollars a year.
Deer Damages In Forests and Prairies
Grazing by deer can permanently damage forests and other ecosystems, affecting the undergrowth and
eliminating replacement trees. Without replacement trees the forest will eventually die. Existing trees are completely eaten up to what is called a 'browse line' which is as high as the deer can reach. In Utah a huge deer problem is now threatening Pando, the largest and oldest living thing on earth. In prairie grasslands, deer have caused some plant species in some areas to become extinct.
Deer Often Will Attack Humans and Other Animals
Problems with deer exhibiting territorial aggression are becoming more common as deer
become more accustomed to living around people. Deer are dangerous wild animals, and
fatalities to people and their pets have resulted from confrontations with deer. Deer can cause serious
injury with their antlers and also by striking forward with their front feet with sharp hooves.
Deer And Automobiles
In Pennsylvania there are over 40,000 vehicle collisions with deer every year. Even more important is the cost in human life. In Virginia alone there are more than one fatality each year from vehicles hitting deer. Each year billions of dollars in property damage and injuries and fatalities are
caused by automobile collisions with deer.
Deer Damage From Disease
Deer can carry several diseases of humans and livestock, including tuberculosis, and Lyme disease which is one of the fastest growing infectious diseases in the U.S. Lyme disease is carried by the deer tick, Ixodesscapularis. However the deer tick is more commonly carried by the deer mouse and by many other animals; so reducing the deer population may not reduce the deer tick population.
The Deer Overpopulation Problem
The deer population can double every year. Deer often have twins and triplets and a deer can live over 10 years. As the human population expands perfect environment for deer are being created for deer in suburbs, along power lines and roads. Without predation deer populations increase rapidly in these areas.
Deer Problems And the Excessive Deer Damage Are Due to the Protected Status of Deer
The large deer population in the United States exists because they
are a protected species. An artificially high population is maintained by governmental game
management authorities to satisfy the demand for deer hunting. We have removed all the natural animal predators and with the restrictive laws protecting deer we have essentially removed the most important predator of all, which was humans. The Native Americans were the principal predators of deer before teh arrival of Europeans.
Any economic importance of hunting is far outweighed by the huge deer population and the incredible amount of damage and loss of human life that they cause.
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