Wednesday 25 November 2020

Amsterdam dune deer cull must continue, experts say

Photo: DutchNews.nl

Some 4,000 fallow deer living in the dunes west of Amsterdam still need to be culled to ensure a healthy population in the reserve, provincial wildlife experts said at the weekend.

Since culling was first permitted in 2015, over 8,000 deer have been shot but the ideal population size – put at around 1,000 – has never been reached.

The new plan envisages a longer hunting season over a two year period in order to cut numbers and so reduce the damage to trees and dune habitats.

And even if the ideal population size is reached, 400 to 500 deer will have to be shot every year to keep the herd in check, officials say.

The plan will be discussed at a provincial level next weekend.

Sterilisation

Wildlife populations in nature reserves, such as the Oostvaardersplassen and the dunes west of Amsterdam, are kept down by hunting and every year thousands of animals are shot.
A group of wildlife vets now want to conduct an experiment in which they will sterilise fallow deer. If given the green light, the experiment will be a world-first, Nieuwsuur said.
The sterilisation programme is scheduled for the spring, if approved following an assessment of the legal implications.

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