Why Parks Canada wants to eradicate invasive deer from B.C. island

By Ella Matte
Cowichan Valley Citizen
August 30, 2023
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Becky Miller

This coming winter the European fallow deer population on Sidney Island will be eradicated to restore the native understory growth. The invasive deer have impacted the island’s ecosystem by eating the diverse species of plants, including Douglas fir, western red cedar, arbutus and maple trees. Local First Nations and Parks Canada are implementing the cull to recover the herbs and trees. The deer eradication is part of a $5.9-million contract that has produced a backlash from animal advocates. In response, Parks Canada took media members to Sidney Island to show the impact of fallow deer. Restoring the island’s understory is crucial to protect Sidney Island from significant wildfire impacts if one were to strike it. According to forest ecologist Becky Miller, the grand fir makes up a majority of the forest floor seedlings.

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