February 7, 2017 - Today, the City of Ann Arbor announced the early completion of 2017 cull activities and the reopening of all designated parks and nature areas to normal operating hours.
From Jan. 30 to Feb. 6, White Buffalo sharpshooters lethally removed 96 deer from designated parks and nature areas and University of Michigan properties. A Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) special research permit allowed White Buffalo sharpshooters to remove up to 100 deer. City staff in consultation with White Buffalo decided to re-open the parks and conclude this year's program due to poor weather; and the effort to obtain four additional deer was outweighed by the benefit of re-opening the parks. There were zero safety incidences related to cull operations.
From Jan. 22 through Jan. 29, White Buffalo personnel surgically sterilized 54 does in designated neighborhoods in Wards 1 and 2. Although the MDNR permit allowed for up to 80 deer to be sterilized, White Buffalo staff believed the 90% population target was achieved at 54. All sterilized deer were fitted with numbered ear tags, and one mature doe in each group was radio-collared to facilitate future program efforts.
The city performed a helicopter flyover during the lethal cull program. The results of the flyover are still being studied and calibrated by White Buffalo to determine a population estimate. The final result will be provided along with White Buffalo's assessment report to the city in the coming months.
Another aspect of the city's deer management plan includes an educational and public rights-of-way improvements program development. City staff will be working with interested stakeholders to develop deer management educational materials, evaluate the city's fencing ordinance and recommend improvements to the city's rights-of-way signage.
More information on the deer management program can be found at www.a2gov.org/deermanagement.
# # # # #