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Point Pelee National Park To Close For Deer Population Reduction

Friday December 30th, 2022, 10:58am

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Point Pelee National Park will be closed to visitors between January 5th and January 20th, 2023 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.

Parks Canada officials say that a high population (hyperabundance) of white-tailed deer in Point Pelee National Park is a serious threat to forest and savannah health and the species that depend on these precious habitats. Through over-browsing, the deer in the park are consuming and damaging native plants faster than they can regenerate, and threatening the health of the Carolinian Forest, which is home to a number of species at risk such as the Red Mulberry Tree, Eastern Wood-Pewee and Eastern Foxsnake. Deer are also jeopardizing efforts to restore the Lake Erie Sand Spit Savannah, a globally rare ecosystem that supports 25% of the species at risk in the park, including the Five-lined Skink.

They say that based on over 30 years of research and monitoring, a healthy and balanced environment in Point Pelee National Park would ideally support 24 to 32 deer. It is estimated that the current deer herd population is two times higher than this target.

Point Pelee National Park is home to a large amount of leafy vegetation, experiences mild winters, and, most importantly, lacks natural predators such as wolves, bears and cougars which would have normally kept the deer population in balance. Population reduction is reserved for situations of absolute necessity and Parks Canada has been collaborating with Caldwell First Nation for a number of years to actively manage the deer population in order to protect the park’s sensitive ecosystems.

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