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Ontario Liberal govt. Approves Deer Culls at Rondeau and Pinery Provincial Parks

January 2015

Deer

Jim Bradley, former Minister of the Environment would not approve the extended deer culls at Rondeau and Pinery Provincial Parks, but after the summer election, Katherine Wynne placed Glen Murray as Minister of the Environment and immediately he approved the deer culls.

Even though the deer population dropped without a cull,  Ontario Parks intends to drastically reduce the deer population in the hopes that it will restore vegetation to desired levels.

For the last fourteen years, Ontario Parks has been killing deer in the park, and the program has failed miserably.  Rather than consider that culling is a misguided concept, Ontario Parks has argued that the program has not gone far.  But the numbers  don’t lie.  Since Peaceful Parks and others requested a review of the program, no culling has occurred since 2012.  The deer population since 2012 had begun to stabilize and the population dropped. 

The more you kill deer, the more deer will reproduce.

All government agencies that engage in culling understand this basic principle: that deer will display compensatory reproduction rates as their population declines because deer numbers are dependent on food and habitat.  Take away either and the deer numbers drop.  Take deer out, and the remaining population has more resources and have more young, and more room to emigrate from adjourning areas.  Therefore, culling can never resolve the issue of ‘problem’ deer for very long. 

These culls intends to devastate the deer population.  The hunt is not a First Nations hunt but will involve sharp shooters.  Beginning this spring, PPC will be organizing protests at Rondeau. 

Below is a chart showing the deer population estimates for Rondeau and The Pinery Provincial Parks. All of the estimates for deer are based upon aerial surveys flown in the winter at each park. You will note that the 2012 estimates are not noted. That is because the weather conditions were not suitable to doing a population count that year (weather was warm resulting in minimal snow cover).

 

Park

Winter Deer Abundance (#deer)

Winter Density
(#deer/km2)

Projected Fall Abundance & Density (30% recruitment)

2010

Rondeau

50-60 deer
(midpoint: 55)

4.6-5.6

72 deer
(6.6/km2)

The Pinery

51-61 deer
(midpoint: 56)

2.0-2.5

73 deer
(3.5/km2)

2011

Rondeau

141-169 deer
(midpoint: 155)

13.1-15.7

202 deer
(18.7/km2)

The Pinery

121-145 deer
(midpoint: 133)

4.8-5.8

173 deer
(8.2/km2)

2012*

 

 

 

 

2013

Rondeau

108-129 deer
(midpoint: 119)

10.0-12.0

154 deer
(14.3/km2)

The Pinery

86-103 deer
(midpoint: 94)

3.4-4.1

122 deer
(5.8/km2)

2014

Rondeau

108-129 deer
(midpoint: 119)

10.0-12.0

154 deer
(14.3/km2)

The Pinery

69-83 deer
(midpoint: 76)

2.8-3.3

99 deer
(4.7/km2)

* There were no aerial surveys done in 2012, as there were no overlapping periods where weather was suitable and a helicopter was available (primarily due to weather conditions being unsuitable, due to it being a warm winter)

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