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February 16, 2006

Contact: Ian Michaels (718) 595-6600

DEP to Conduct Aerial Survey of Deer in Kensico Basin

Commissioner Emily Lloyd of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced today that within the next two weeks the DEP is going to conduct an aerial survey of the deer population in the area surrounding the Kensico Reservoir in Westchester. 

The survey will use an infrared camera mounted on a single engine Cessna airplane, and will be conducted at night from an altitude of approximately 1000 feet.  The study will map the deer population within a 4-mile by 6-mile area of Westchester covering the Kensico drainage basin.

“Deer can have a detrimental effect on watershed areas by reducing or eliminating forest regeneration,” said Commissioner Lloyd.  “Damage to the forests can lead to loose or unstable soil, which then increases the amount of soil that runs off into the water system during and after a rainfall or snow melt.  More data are needed if officials are to develop an effective strategy for managing the deer herd in the county.”

A healthy, vigorously growing forest consumes more nutrients, reducing the amount of nutrients in watercourses and reservoirs and thereby aiding in water quality protection.  A resilient forest with various sizes of trees is also able to recover faster from various events, such as damage from weather.

DEP has worked extensively with Westchester County and Pace University on the effects of whitetail deer.  A conference on deer management was held at Pace in November 2005, which led to the decision by DEP to conduct the deer survey.

Survey work will be done by Vision Air Research of Boise, Idaho, using a red and white Cessna.  The flight will be coordinated with the Federal Aviation Administration so as to not interfere with operations at Westchester County Airport.


More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

59-17 Junction Boulevard
19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600