Video: Penn State Deer Research Center studies herd health options

September 10, 2010

University Park, Pa. — Through partnerships with various wildlife management groups in Pennsylvania and nationwide, Penn State's Deer Research Center has been a leader in white tail deer growth, overall health and survival since the early 20th century.

Through the years, Penn State studies have focused primarily on reproduction cycles and improvements in nutrition of white-tailed deer. These studies have led to a variety of initiatives throughout the Commonwealth and beyond. Other projects have investigated humane repellents and fencing to protect forest regeneration from herds.

Currently, Penn State's deer research facility has collaborated with the National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) in Fort Collins, Colo., to try to find a safe contraceptive for doe who are migrating into urban areas, military facilities, state parks and other areas where hunting is forbidden. The overpopulation of deer herds in urban areas presents potential danger to not only deer and fawns, but also humans. Due to urban sprawl, deer are adapting to town and city environments. Habitats that cannot nutritionally sustain them for long. Thus many deer are in danger of starvation that can lead to disease as well as insufficient care for the fawns. Following a series of studies, the Environmental Protection Agency has approved recently a form of the contraceptive tested at Penn State.  

Results show that the vaccine developed has had no ill side effects on does, and remained operative for two to three breeding seasons. The does involved in the study have remained some of the healthiest at the facility throughout the testing process. Although not considered to be the singular solution to urban deer expansion, Penn State's research in cooperation with the NWRC has shown that it is a humane option that could assist in managing the rapid increase in urban deer expansion.

To view the video, go to /video/164924/2013/02/09/video-no-title.



  • IMAGE: Penn State Deer Research

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Last Updated April 18, 2011