California deer populations “surviving but not thriving”
Deer in California are feeling the pinch poor habitat conditions create, reports Matt Weiser at the Sacramento Bee.
Statistics from the state Department of Fish and Game shows populations are nearly half of what they were in 1990, and are continuing to decline due to a variety of habitat losses – land conversion, development, fire suppression, closing of migration corridors – the list goes on.
“Our deer are surviving, they’re not thriving,” said Craig Stowers, deer program manager at Fish and Game. “Quite frankly, until people start taking this seriously, we’re going to continue to experience these types of declines.”
Some have blamed declines on predators such as mountain lions, but said Randy Morrison, California regional director at the Mule Deer Foundation, a conservation and hunting organization, doesn’t but it.
“I believe it’s habitat, habitat, habitat,” he said. “So far, I don’t believe we’re turning the tide at all. I’m concerned. Very concerned.”
And rightly so, it seems. Just one more reason to keep what we have.