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Deer Problem Is Related To Human Development



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Deer Problem Is Related To Human Development

To the Editor:

Last week’s issue of The Bee featured two articles supporting closed hunting of deer in an effort to wipe out Lyme disease. The deer population is certainly expanding, and we are abiding various hindrances such as car accidents, bare gardens, and various diseases in our families and pets as a result. While these issues undoubtedly require attention, the underlying cause of these afflictions is being overlooked, and that is the environmental stresses humans create.

The articles point out that the biologists are finding entire ecosystems being disrupted due to the high deer population. Biodiversity is in decline, native vegetation is disappearing, and natural habitats are being altered and destroyed. The human population is currently 6.2 billion worldwide and is projected to reach 9.3 billion by 2050. Biologist are also finding that the high human population has these same effects on wildlife and the environment along with a legion of other adverse consequences: global climate change, water and air pollution, ozone depletion, and species extinction to name a few. These effects are dangerous to humans as well as the surrounding wildlife.

As the number of developments increase, the fragmentation of wildlife habitats does as well. Newtown has been built up immensely in recent years, and the natural predators of deer have dwindled away in search of more suitable surroundings. Cars and coyotes are about the only means left to keep the deer population in check. There is very little left in nature to keep the human population balanced. It’s time we start using our power of reasoning to do something about it.

Hunting also has a surprising effect on the deer population. The ideal kill for a deer hunter is the alpha male. The alpha males are protective of the does and prevent the lesser males from mating with them, but as the number of alpha males drops, the lesser males have little to deter them from mating with the does. Needless to say, an increase in mating brings an increase in the population.

Dr Scholl spoke of a small, healthy deer population living “deep in the woodlands.” It’s a nice thought, but unfortunately woodlands in Newtown are becoming hard to find. The high deer population and related problems are really just symptoms of the human population epidemic.

Amanda Bloom

30 Ridge Road, Newtown                                              August 28, 2005

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