Deer Management Program Concerns

Why is there a Deer Management Program in Fairfax County?

Environmental impact, public safety, and human health are the primary concers associated with the local deer population. 

Increased habitat modification, loss of natural habitat, and a loss of natural large predators have lead to an overabundant deer population. (More information.)

Environmental Impact

  •      A single adult deer consumes 5 to 7 lbs of plant matter in one day. Over 1 ton of vegetation is consumed by one deer in one year.
  •      Irreversible damage to native plant life, forest understory and woodland habitat
  •      Loss of biodiversity and fewer species supported in the ecosystem
  •      Depleted natural food sources (Leaves, stems, buds, flowers, fruits and fungi)
  •      Increased reliance on supplementary food sources and non-native plants
  •      Herd health decreases as more deer must compete for food and other resources
Deer Dammage Deer Herd
 Deer Damage (over browse) Deer Herd

Public Safety

  •      Virginia ranked 5th in the nation for deer-vehicle collisions in 2009
  •       Nearly one in every 136 Virginia drivers will have a vehicle accident involving deer in the next 12 months
  •       48,000 Virginia drivers are projected to file insurance claims for comprehensive vehicle damage sustained as result of a deer-vehicle collision
  •       Number of deer-vehicle collisions in Virginia increasing
  •       Virginia ranked 8th highest in the US for deer-vehicle collisions in 2008


Deer Crossing Road
Deer Crossing Road

 Public Health

  •      High density deer herds increase human risk of exposure to ticks as deer transport ticks into new areas
  •      Deer are the primary host to adult blacklegged ticks that cause Lyme disease
  •      Increased risk of wildlife disease transmission
  •      Chronic Wasting disease and Hemorrhagic disease have been found in deer populations in Virginia


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