Springfield Nature Center program to focus on urban deer

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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," Oct. 22 at MDC's Springfield Conservation Nature Center. The program, which is from 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m., is free.

Though this program will focus on Springfield's urban deer situation, 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 Oct. 22 program, MDC Urban Wildlife Biologist Ashley Schnake will share the latest deer data from Springfield and will discuss strategies currently being used in communities around the country for keeping deer populations healthy and in check.

To register for this program, which is for ages 10-adult, 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 missouriconservation.org.