Proceedings of the Vertebrate Pest Conference
Management of white-tailed deer in Chicago, Illinois forest preserves
- Author(s): Etter, Dwayne R.
- Van Deelen, Timothy R.
- Ludwig, Daniel R.
- Kobal, Scott N.
- Warner, Richard E.
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.5070/V419110290
The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County culled 2,826 white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), from 16 forest preserves in winters 1992-1998, including 1,786 from the 10 km2 Waterfall Glen Preserve. Methods of culling included sharpshooting or capture with a rocket-net followed by euthanasia via a penetrating captive bolt. Operational field costs were $119 to $310/deer. Population reconstructions indicated a decrease in deer population density at Waterfall Glen Preserve from 751 deer in 1992 to 55 deer in 1998. This reduction resulted in a significant decrease (r=0.9, P=0.001, n=7) in reported deer-vehicle collisions on adjacent roads from 30 in 1992 to 4 in 1998. Mean plant height, percent vegetative ground cover, and number of plant species increased (P< 0.0001) among years in six forest preserves experiencing deer population control. Culling was successful at reducing deer population density, decreasing deer-vehicle collisions, and assisting with the restoration of native ecosystems in DuPage County Forest Preserves.