March 18, 2016 - 10:30 AM
CRANBROOK, B.C. - Sixty habituated mule deer are reacquainting themselves with the backcountry after being moved out of four southeastern British Columbia communities.
The problem deer were caught in Kimberley, Cranbrook, Invermere and Elkford and relocated as part of project to save, rather than cull them.
Twenty-nine of the deer were fitted with tracking collars.
"There was one deer that was predated by a cougar fairly early on in the project," said senior wildlife biologist Ian Adams, whose employer, Vast Resources Solutions, monitors data from the collars.
"We recovered that collar and managed to put it out on a second deer from Elkford," he said.
Details from the collars showed no deer had yet returned to urban areas, where their unpredictable behaviour could endanger humans and pets.
"There's a few individuals that have shown broader movements, which suggests a bit of wandering, trying to figure out where they are and what’s next for them," said Adams.
"For the most part, they've been doing fairly well. "They don’t appear to have moved onto any private lands and hopefully they'll stay out of trouble."
The project will determine if translocation is a humane solution to reducing habituated deer populations that have plaugued many B.C. communities and prompted culls on Vancouver Island and across southern and southeastern parts of the province.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2016