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Springfield Nature Center program to focus on urban deer

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A white-tailed deer buck roams on a subdivision in Columbia. As deer numbers increase in an urban environment, they pose problems for homeowners and drivers. Learn more about the issues created by growing urban deer numbers at an Oct. 22 program at the Missouri Department of Conservation's Springfield Conservation Nature Center.

A white-tailed deer buck roams on a subdivision in Columbia. As deer numbers increase in an urban environment, they pose problems for homeowners and drivers. Learn more about the issues created by growing urban deer numbers at an Oct. 22 program at the Missouri Department of Conservation’s Springfield Conservation Nature Center.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Depending on where they’re located, deer residing in a city can be the source of unique nature sightings or nuisance wildlife issues.

People can learn more about the challenges of coping with increasing urban deer numbers at the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) program “Oh Deer! Managing Urban Deer Populations,” on Thursday, Oct. 22, at the Springfield Conservation Nature Center. The program, from 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m., is free.

Though this program will focus on Springfield’s urban deer population, it will discuss challenges that city governments and biologists are facing in communities throughout the country. Urban settings often provide deer with ideal situations for population growth. Food is abundant while hunting pressure and predators are non-existent.

All too often, this set-up leads to situations that are problematic for humans and deer. On the deer end, an over-abundance of whitetails can lead to food shortages and can also create scenarios where it’s easier for disease to be passed from one deer to another.

For humans, too many deer lead to an increase of whitetails feeding on gardens, shrubs, fruit trees and other places where their grazing is not appreciated. It can also lead to an increase in deer/vehicle accidents.

At the program, Urban Wildlife Biologist Ashley Schnake will share the latest deer data from Springfield and will discuss strategies now being used in communities around the country for keeping deer populations in check.

To register for this program, call 417-888-4237. The Nature Center is located at 4601 South Nature Center Way in Springfield.

Information about deer can also be found at www.missouriconservation.org.

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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