University to participate in deer cull

Tuesday, November 22, 2016 - 1:06pm

The University of Michigan announced Tuesday it will participate in the 2017 Ann Arbor deer management program, in partnership with the city. 

The Ann Arbor City Council voted to implement a deer cull again this year following the 2016 program, which resulted in the death of 63 deer in parks and nature areas from January to February, due to concerns of overpopulation. The University did not participate in the 2016 cull. 

While the specific timing and locations where the deer cull will occur have not yet determined, the University has indicated that lethal cull methods, including firearms, may be used in Nichols Arboretum, areas between the railroad and Huron River, areas east of Fuller Road and south of Glazier Way and areas west of Huron Parkway and south of Hubbard. If any University property is used, it will be closed to the public from 4 p.m. until 7 a.m. on weekdays when the cull is taking place.

Potential non-lethal deer management programs are also being considered on North Campus during Spring Break — Feb. 25 to March 5.

Several Ann Arbor residents have expressed dissatisfaction with the city’s decision to carry out a cull, protesting at City Council meetings and brandishing signs as they spoke out about their opposition to the city’s program to kill a part of the growing local deer population. However, biologists have noted that a deer cull would be beneficial for ecological sustainability, and on Tuesday officials commended the University’s actions and cooperation, saying it would have been difficult otherwise to effectively carry out the cull.

The University is also contributing an estimated 15 percent of the total cost of the cull, totaling less than $25,000, in accordance with the percentage of University-owned property within the Wards 1 and 2. Dates, times and locations have not yet been finalized, but once they are, the press release states that the University Division of Public Safety and Security will make sure that the community is notified and the appropriate signs are posted.