Point Pelee National Park To Close For Deer Population Reduction
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Point Pelee National Park will be closed to visitors from January 10th to January 25th, 2019 for a deer population reduction.
The annual reduction is part of a multi-year plan to improve environmental health by Parks Canada and Caldwell First Nation.
According to parks officials, high populations (hyperabundant) of white-tailed deer are a serious threat to forest and savannah health at Point Pelee National Park. Through over-browsing, deer in the park are threatening the Carolinian forest, which is home to many species at risk such as the red-headed woodpecker and the red mulberry tree.
Deer are also jeopardizing park efforts to restore the Lake Erie Sandspit Savannah, a globally rare ecosystem that supports 25% of the species at risk in the park.
Parks Canada says that based on over 30 years of research and monitoring, a healthy balanced environment at Point Pelee National Park would ideally support 24 to 32 deer. A series of mild winters with light snow cover and a lack of natural predators such as wolves and bears have allowed the park’s white-tailed deer population to grow to three to four times higher than what can be sustained.