The Deer Initiative

What we do

Urban deer

Deer are increasingly becoming established within urban areas in England where their impacts may cause potential conflict with human activity, additionally conflicts are occurring in areas where human activities and habitation impinges on current and potential deer range. Deer are implicated in road traffic accidents, have the potential to pose a risk to human health and can have impacts on property such as gardens. Animal welfare concerns are also significant.

In urban areas, there has been increasing colonisation of larger towns and cities over recent decades by, in particular, muntjac (Muntiacus reevesi) and roe deer (Capreolus capreolus). Deer of one or the other of these species are now established well within the centres of cities such as Bristol, London, Manchester and Southampton. There are also well publicised incidences of larger deer species, including fallow (Dama dama) and red deer (Cervus elaphus) entering urban conurbations such as Milton Keynes causing disruption and potentially causing serious deer vehicle collisions.

In truly urban areas there is concern in relation to damage to gardens and garden plants (see for example Chapman et al., 1994; Coles, 1997), structural damage to fences, increased risk of road traffic accidents involving deer (i.e. deer-vehicle collisions, DVCs), as well as some concern about the possible implication of deer in the transmission of disease (but see Watson et al. 2010). Welfare concerns extend to the physical condition of deer established within urban sites, which is often poor by comparison to deer within more natural habitat (Green, 2008).

The Deer Initiative

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