Environment
8:52 am
Fri November 8, 2013

RI DEM Announces Plans To Cut Down Exploding Deer Population

The state Department of Environmental Management has announced plans to cull the population of Virginia white-tailed deer on Block Island.

The population of Virginia White-tailed deer has exploded on Block Island. Now officials must cull the population by hiring sharp-shooters.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The density of white-tailed deer on Block Island is estimated at 80 to 100 per square mile.  That’s eight to ten times the desirable level so the state Department of Environmental Management has decided to cull the herd.

The DEM’s Catherine Sparks says they’ll hire professional sharp shooters to kill some of the deer early next year.

"Our target would be to perhaps begin baiting sometime around the end of January of next year and conduct the culling sometime in February," said Sparks.

Sparks says the overabundance of deer on Block Island is threatening fragile habitats that hold a wealth of unique species, including the federally  endangered northern blazing star.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic?  Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.  news@ripr.org