Impact Management Plan

The City has developed an integrated, non-lethal, site-specific management plan that will allow experts to take immediate steps to reduce future impacts of an over-abundant deer population. The five-pronged plan includes:

  • Population control study through humane sterilization of male deer
  • Traffic safety measures
  • Natural resource protection
  • Extensive public engagement and education
  • Impact monitoring

Population Control

The City has hired the non-profit White Buffalo, Inc. to conduct the population control study, which was permitted by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to start in September of 2016. Working at night, a team from White Buffalo, Inc. is capturing, sterilizing, ear tagging and radio collaring deer across Staten Island. In addition, the team is monitoring deer to assess population dynamics like movement and mortality. As part of this assessment, New York City conducted an aerial survey of Staten Island green spaces in 2014, establishing a minimum population count of 763 deer over 18.7 square miles.

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Traffic Safety Measures

In November 2015, the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) began implementation of a deer corridor signage program. Permanent signage is one countermeasure used to raise awareness and prevent deer-vehicle collisions. Mobile variable message boards are also deployed as needed.

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Natural Resource Protection

The New York City Parks Department (NYC Parks) invests millions of dollars in Staten Island city parks through habitat restoration and reforestation projects. To protect these natural resources from further damage by deer, NYC Parks is implementing a number of techniques including:

  • Erecting fencing around newly planted trees and reforested areas;
  • Installing tree guards on newly planted trees;
  • Using "deer repellents" to keep deer away from newly planted and restored areas;

To help Staten Island residents protect their own private gardens and landscaped areas, NYC Parks will also plant two demonstration gardens showcasing deer-resistant plants.

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Public Engagement

The City will host public programs, events, and workshops and produce informational flyers and tip sheets to help New Yorkers learn how to live safely with white-tailed deer. To learn more about upcoming events or programs, check the Things To Do section of this website, which is updated on an ongoing basis.

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To understand the problems that deer can cause and to measure the success of the Deer Impact Management Plan, over the next three years New York City will monitor:

  • The number and location of collisions between vehicles and deer;
  • The presence of ticks and the incidence of tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease;
  • The health of the forest and greenspaces;
  • The number and location of deer carcasses;
  • The deer population, including the death rate, the birth rate, deer movement and total deer numbers.

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