CON: Food sources, not animals, are the problem

Sonny Long

Jan. 12, 2014 at 11:03 p.m.
Updated Jan. 12, 2014 at 7:13 p.m.

"Declaring a bloody war against wildlife just because they reside in close proximity to humans is cruel and foolish," said Jodi Minion, wildlife biologist for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

The idea that wildlife is "overpopulated" is wrong, Minion said.

"If left alone, their numbers will remain stable," she said.

Minion suggests the root of the problem is the food source.

"If officials are truly looking to reduce numbers, they should take an integrated and adaptive approach: target food sources rather than animals and make sure that they're never artificially fed,"she said.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials said effective wildlife management programs are in place in the state.

"It is not a new issue for us in Texas," said Steve Lighfoot, TPWD wildlife and fisheries information specialist.

"Most Texans recognize the need to manage wildlife populations to maintain healthy ecosystems."

The agency's deer management program states "suburban deer overabundance presents unique challenges and circumstances to deer managers.

"While the biological constraints of deer herds are commonly considered when managing rural deer populations, suburban deer overabundance is usually solely a reflection of human values. When deer numbers approach or exceed human tolerance levels, they may be considered overabundant."

The policy adds that "it is important for communities to develop measurable long-term goals and objectives as part of a comprehensive deer management plan before implementing deer control measures."

The city of Victoria is doing just that.

"We are working with Texas Parks and Wildlife to develop a plan to accurately get a count of the deer population," said Colby VanGundy, Victoria director of parks and recreation.

"To this point, the only major issue has been the deer on the greens at the golf course."

VanGundy added that one other animal has been a problem.

"We do have issues with buzzards, and our plan of action is to limit the food source, which should help with the problem."

PRO: More wildlife management needed



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