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The development and testing of deterrents for deer in both rural and urban fringe areas - VC0317

This study will aim to develop novel methods and improve existing techniques for deterring deer and will be composed of 4 major objectives outlined as follows, together with ways in which they might be achieved: 1. Identification of chemical feeding deterrents that significantly reduce damage by deer and development of effective methods of application. This will be aided by Forestry Authority and ADAS records of deer damage and complaints. Results of searches will be used to focus the development of delayed release formulations in terms of the surface characteristics of materials most susceptible to deer damage. A standard testing protocol will be developed for challenging deer with putatively repellent chemicals in areas (enclosures containing a known number of wild deer) having limited availability of alternative foods which are highly palatable to deer. Development of delayed release feeding deterrents will be conducted by studying ways of maximising persistence of the chemical (held within a polymeric matrix) on surfaces prone to deer damage. Encapsulation of chemicals so that they are only released when ruptured by deer feeding activity will also be explored; 2. Determination of the most cost effective fencing design (temporary and permanent, electric and mesh fences) required for control of fallow, roe and muntjac deer. Initial studies will be conducted in Forestry authority deer enclosures, while development of materials based on results of initial trials and development of electric fence energizers will be performed with industrial collaborators. These materials and fence designs will be subjected to tests in the Forestry Authority enclosures and in extensive field trials; 3. Assessment of the potential for mirrors/reflectors as a means of influencing deer movements across roads and development of effective designs and systems of deployment and maintenance. A review of local authority and DoT experience of roadside mirrors will be obtained by questionnaire survey, and potential accident black spots for monitoring will be selected. Behaviour of deer to different mirror types will be investigated in the study enclosures prior to roadside trials; and 4. Assessment of the potential for selection of unpalatable plant species, cultivars and clones. A literature review will be conducted on tree and shrub species unpalatable to deer and selected species will be subjected to trials in paddocks containing deer. Substances produced by these species that may have a deterrent effect will be investigated.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1995

To: 1998

Cost: £209,891
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Natural Environment Research Council, Central Science Laboratory, ADAS UK Ltd., Forestry Authority
Fields of Study
Wildlife Management