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A group in Springfield has some suggestions for managing the deer populations in and around the city. The Missouri Department of Conservation formed the Urban Deer Committee last year in response to the growth of the deer population. The committee's report is complete and is available to the public. KSMU's Jana Greer has more on the report.
By the early 1900s deer populations were shrinking... so much so that there were only a few hundred left in the Ozarks. The State reintroduced deer and with the use of deer management practices, there are now over one million statewide. But now cities in the Ozarks are having problems because there are so many deer. Adam Arnold is an Urban Wildlife Biologist for Missouri's Department of Conservation and an advisor for the Urban Deer Committee. He explains more about the over population problem.
According to the Institute of Highway Safety there are about 1.5 million deer related vehicle crashes in the U.S. a year causing on average 150 deaths, thousands of injuries and more than one billion dollars in damage. Arnold says that the committee came up with four solutions to reduce the deer population and the chance of deer ...car accidents.
For the report, the group polled local residents about the deer population and damage control methods. 80-percent believed that controlled hunting would be most effective and believed it would decrease deer related car collisions by 62-percent. Arnold says that until the population is under control, drivers need to be careful.
Members of the committee are from Springfield and surrounding cities. Individual members will take the finished report back to their city and will use the report to decide how best to control the deer population. You can see the report by using the link on our website KSMU.org.