Deer Are Invading New York City, There Is No Solution

Brendan O'Connor on The Verge:

Just before Christmas of last year, John Caminiti, who lives in Staten Island, New York City’s least populated borough, watched traffic come to a standstill outside the Staten Island Mall. “It got quiet all of a sudden,” Caminiti told me. “I look around, and there was a big buck, standing right on the fringe of the wilderness and the mall. A calm came over people.”

This is a fascinating story of nature thriving in what we have made our world. Deer are taking over Staten Island and it’s becoming a problem to those that live there.

Some interesting facts and statistics from the article:

  • Deer became arriving “with some frequency” in 2000.
  • Staten Island is 60 square miles
  • 28 deer were found in the borough in 2008
  • 793 deer were found in the borough in 2013.
  • This constitutes as a 3,304 percent increase in just 6 years.
  • 41 deer per square mile.
  • The population, if not maintained, is expected to breach 3000 by 2017.
  • There are 472,000 people living on the island, according to the census.
  • 34 large, and dead, deer were removed from roads in 2013.
  • Current contraceptive methods cost around $500 per deer.
  • “Pursuing, shooting, killing, or capturing” as well as “disturbing, harrying, or worrying” wildlife is prohibited in all five boroughs of New York City and carries a penalty of a year in jail, a $2,000 fine, or both.

There doesn’t seem to be an obvious fix to this problem and it’s only going to get worse. Laws will have to change, angering parts of the whole. Otherwise, Staten Island’s ecosystem will be destroyed by the overpopulation of deer.