Provincial executives in Noord-Holland have sanctioned a plan to cull thousands of fallow deer in the dune area between IJmuiden and The Hague.
The location, mainly consisting of the Amsterdam water catchment area, is currently home to around 3,800 fallow deer.
Experts at the Alterra institute said earlier that the area, some 3,400 hectares in size, can only cope with 600 to 800 deer.
The plan now is for professional hunters to be licensed to shoot around 1,000 deer each year, bringing the total down to 1,000 by 2020, news agency ANP reports. Female deer will be targeted to keep the population down.
Amsterdam city council executives voted for a cull two years ago. In August, some on the council suggested taking some of the ‘surplus’ fallow deer to a national park in Bulgaria.
Efforts to keep the deer in the reserve with high fences and cattle grids have failed to contain all the animals and there were 61 traffic accidents involving deer last year, the Volkskrant said.
The deer also damage crops, gardens and graveyards, the paper said.