A Deer Save initiative is being put into action to help our struggling deer population, negatively impacted by this year’s severe winter conditions. The program is being co-led by volunteer community partners including the Manitoulin Area Stewardship Council (MASC), OFAH, Manitoulin & North Shore Fish and Game Clubs and other interested community members, with assistance from the staff of the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), Espanola Area office. We are seeking volunteers to assist and support us with the emergency Deer Save work now being implemented. In particular, we need the involvement of landowners whose lands are located in key deer wintering yard areas. Approximately 80% of these land owners are off-island residents and their approval is required before we can enter these properties to help the deer.
For the past decade, winters have been relatively mild and there has been no cause to be concerned about our deer population. However, this winter is different - the prolonged periods of extreme cold with heavy snow accumulation are affecting the deer population’s survival, future health and reproduction rates. While most deer have migrated many kilometers to the winter yards they use in severe winter conditions, the yards are no longer offering sufficient relief from the harsh weather.
Here is an excellent video from our local MNR about Deer Save. There is also a facebook page called 'Deer Save Manitoulin' where up to the date news and information can be found.