Community Services

Long-Term Objectives

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What is the Problem?

  • Deer browsing is adversely impacting beyond the tolerance level of a portion of the City’s residents, the bio-diversity and sustainability of plants/animals/insects in the City’s natural areas.
  • Deer browsing is adversely impacting beyond the tolerance level of a portion of the City’s residents, the residential and commercial gardens/ landscaping on private land.
  • The number of deer/vehicle accidents averaged 62 over the past five years versus 41 over the five years before that.
  • A segment of the City’s residents has a higher tolerance for deer, views them in a positive light, and is advocating for a change in the deer management program that includes non-lethal methods, education, and/or no action all.

Program Goal

The goal of the City’s Deer Management Program is to have a sustainable deer population at a level acceptable to the overall City population. To do this, the City will regularly collect data about deer and publish it on the city’s website. Each data measure will have an established level (or range) which would, if exceeded, result in staff calling together citizen representatives to discuss. No city action (lethal or non-lethal sterilization) is presumed to be necessary. The purpose of the discussion with the citizen representatives is to make a recommendation if:  

  1. Additional information is needed
  2. If the existing data justifies any action or
  3. If an action is deemed necessary, what is the appropriate action (ie. education, sterilization, lethal, other) and where.

This plan/process is being implemented to establish a clear, transparent, and collaborative expectation for any future City Deer Management program in advance of Council consideration.

Measures of Success

  • Number of firearm related injuries associated with the deer management program is 0.
  • Total number of deer/vehicle crashes reduced to 40 per year, and percent of vehicle crashes involving deer reported in the legal boundaries of the City of Ann Arbor reduced to 1.3%, assuming no major changes in total vehicle crashes.
  • Reduce deer browse damage in the City’s natural areas to a sustainable range of 15% to 30%, as measured by NatureWrite’s field study. This measure will be regularly re-visited to reflect the latest information available.
  • Maintain community-based education program about the role of deer in the local ecology and identify options for residents to manage potential deer impacts on their private property.
  • Community acceptance of herd impact - when 75% of surveyed residents in a Ward respond that damage to their landscape or garden plants is at an acceptable level on private lands. Recognizing there will be variability of this measure over time, a trend towards 75% is desired.
  • Community acceptance of deer management program - when 75% of surveyed residents in a Ward respond that the City's strategy of managing the deer population is acceptable. Recognizing there will be variability of this measure over time, a trend towards 75% is desired.