(Image / Vadym Graifer Photography)

Researchers with the University of Victoria are asking residents of Esquimalt to participate in a research project meant to control deer overpopulation.

The Esquimalt Urban Deer Research Project is being done by the University of Victoria Applied Conservation Macro Ecology (ACME) Lab. It’s a three-year deer survey in partnership with the Esquimalt township to study the efficacy of immunocontraception on deer.

As part of the project, researchers will dart deer and administer immuno-contraceptive (IC) vaccinations as a non-lethal deer population management strategy.

The IC, researchers say, does not harm the animal, but results in fewer fawns—the process takes 40 minutes from initial darting to the deer being brought back up on its feet.

A field team will work between 6:30 a.m. to noon daily between September 18th to October 31st.

Researchers and the township of Esquimalt are asking anyone who would like to assist the program during those times to report deer on their property to 250-800-9986.

Esquimalt residents who wish to participate are asked to fill out a survey confirming consent here.

Researchers have already successfully tagged 20 control deer between July 26th to August 11th, 2021. In those cases, Female deer were tagged by darting rather than using any physical traps.

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