Deer Tracking Study: Worth the Money?

Have you noticed a change in the deer population along the I-280 corridor?

Earlier this week, was underway, this weekend and next, to track the movement of deer along the Interstate 280 corridor, and to put tracking collars on several of the deer.

The purpose of the study, which is being conducted by biologists from the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) and UC Davis, is to protect the regional deer population by reducing collisions between motorists and deer along the highway. The study is funded by Caltrans.

A similar study was and was met by , while others thought it was money well spent to protect both the deer and motorists.

Here are of the few comments that appeared in a December 1, 2011 Patch article:

 Hal commented:

"Why? We all know the roads taken by deer. They are creatures of habit and follow their established routes. Keep the deer trails open! This is needless agony for the deer. Is this another budget item that needs to be spent? There are better ways to utilize the money."

Annette commented:

"There just is no way to make all the people happy all of the time. This is obviously a plan to show that Cal-trans is being sensitive to the needs of the deer as well as the safety of the public. It costs money to clean up the dead deer, and Cal-trans is then sued by a motorist or their family for the damages or death."

Hal (second comment):

"Will someone tell the CHP to stop this silly project? The CHP can spend that time writing speeding tickets on 280."

Len commented:

"You wouldn't be saying this is a waste of time if you had hit one on 280 going 65mph, totalling your car, ending you and the passengers in the hospital for days, with a very dead deer (traffic breaks done to clear the deer also causes rear-end collisions by inattentive drivers).

Reality Check commented:

"Many years ago, I recall a horrible crash in which someone swerving to avoid a deer on Page Mill Road near 280 crossed over and hit another car head on. Both drivers were killed. The deer ran off unscathed."

Deer tracking and collaring will be performed during the weekends of July 21 and 22, and also July 28 and 29 from the hours of 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Saturday and Sunday). 

Have you noticed any improvements in the deer population along Interstate 280 since the December study? Do you think the study is a wise use of Caltrans funds? Tell us in today's poll, and as always, your comments are welcome too.


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Mark Burns July 25, 2012 at 06:54 PM
Kali, It sounds like you might enjoy a more remote environment with larger populations of wildlife. Telling Varti to move is not constructive to the problem at hand. What's good for you is not necessarily good for the majority of the population in San Carlos. Coyotes, Raccoons, and Deer (re)appearing in residential areas is poor wildlife management on the part of state and local government. If you think we're encroaching on their habitat, look out the window on your next flight.
Alan Dale Brown July 25, 2012 at 07:25 PM
I found a very interesting article about the deer population in the state, based on recent scientific studies: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/04/08/4398312/california-deer-population-declines.html . Unlike the midwest (where I grew up, where there is an explosion of deer population), the deer numbers are dropping here. It turns out it's due partly to habitat decline, caused partly by human encroachment, but, even more importantly, suppression of forest fires. Deer need open meadows, and open meadows are formed by periodic forest fires. When there are fewer open meadows, deer are often driven to move into residential areas for grazing purposes. Controlled burns are probably the best answer, but people are not always comfortable with the idea.
Alan Dale Brown July 25, 2012 at 07:26 PM
It also points out that this decline means only 15% of hunters bag a deer in California, as opposed to 43% in Colorado.
Alan Dale Brown July 25, 2012 at 07:30 PM
There's a map showing the locations of the decline. It turns out that the Bay Area has one of the lowest rates of decline.
Kali July 26, 2012 at 06:34 AM
Mark, have you done a survey of the vast majority of San Carlos Residents concerning the wildlife population? Please advise your findings. Please also define "Poor Wildlife Management".


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