Deer are abundant in Longueuil and at Parc national des Îles-de-Boucherville, but they are also abundant in Montreal. An expert report submitted to the City of Montreal in March reported the presence of 64 deer in the Pointe-aux-Prairies nature park and recommends a reduction of the population from 70 to 80%, which is equivalent to the elimination of about fifty deer.
The report submitted by the Center d’études de la forêt in March 2021 to the Service des parcs de la Ville de Montréal, that The duty obtained under the Law on Access to Documents from Public Bodies, mentions that two decades of deer browsing caused significant damage to the vegetation of the nature park and favored invasive species such as buckthorn.
The aerial inventory carried out in March 2021 confirmed the presence of 64 deer in the nature park and experts recommend limiting the number of deer to a population of 13 to 19 individuals, in order to achieve a density of 5 to 7 , 5 deer / km². This recommendation therefore means that between 45 and 51 deer should be eliminated. Experts recommend a “proven lethal control method” to reduce the deer population.
Experts mention “the urgency to act”, but warn that a public awareness campaign will be necessary “because of the unfavorable perception of part of the public with regard to lethal control methods”. They also point out that annual population control will be required given the reproductive capacity of deer and the possible arrival of deer from surrounding areas.
Experts describe the different methods that could be used to control the deer population, such as controlled hunting, professional slaughter, capture and euthanasia, and capture and relocation. The latter option has no advantage and causes significant stress to the animals in addition to facilitating the transmission of diseases and parasites, however, the report points out.
The section of the report detailing the means recommended by experts to reduce the deer population in Pointe-aux-Prairies Nature Park is, however, redacted.
The reduction in the deer population will not be sufficient to rehabilitate the forest cover and the presence of invasive species, add the experts who therefore insist on the need to install fences and “excludes” to protect certain sectors of the park.
The presence of the deer in the east of the island of Montreal was mentioned for the first time in 1997. If the aerial survey of spring made it possible to count 64 individuals in the nature park of Pointe-aux-Prairies, this This evaluation could be underestimated since it is impossible to fly over certain sectors due to the presence of railroads, it is noted in the report. Deer have also been observed in neighboring areas, in particular at the Ruisseau-De-Montigny nature park and the Bois-d’Anjou park.
The City of Montreal has still not announced its intentions regarding the deer in the Pointe-aux Prairies nature park. Last March, Mayor Valérie Plante affirmed that she was not advocating their slaughter, wishing not to create a controversy like the one experienced in Longueuil. Last month, the mayoress of Longueuil, Catherine Fournier, announced that around sixty deer would be slaughtered in Michel-Chartrand park.