Bright orange vests and traffic control alerted residents as the Urban Wildlife Stewardship Society captured a doe Monday morning.
It was the first in the next phase of the UWSS Deer Plan Oak Bay – to capture and collar 20 female deer in Oak Bay.
“We collared a doe this morning and there were a number of people passing by, we’re very visible,” said Kristy Kilpatrick, UWSS president, Monday afternoon.
The does are sedated and assessed through a brief physical exam.
After being fitted for GPS collars and ear tagged for future identification, the does are to be closely monitored until the effects of the sedative wear off five to 10 minutes later.
“The sedative is safe for does, there’s no impact on the does whatsoever,” Kilpatrick said.
The field work is performed by an experienced veterinarian and an expert wildlife research team at dawn and they just go out in search of deer. They also bring pamphlets to explain the process of how the collars track the deer to gather information on the ecology of urban deer in a bid to understand their movement patterns, density and population size.
Kilpatrick hopes if the public sees them out and about in those early morning hours – a prime time for dog walkers – that they’ll “to allow us to continue the work.”
The overall goal of the management plan is to gradually reduce the number of urban deer using a science-based, non-lethal approach.
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