Contentious Catalina Island Deer Eradication Plan Scaled Down; Will Not Include Helicopter Shooters

Photo by Nick Morrow

A controversial plan that would have included helicopters using shooters to eradicate invasive mule deer from Catalina Island – it’s also gotten plenty of pushback from a variety of opponents – is now being scaled down significantly.

Here’s the Los Angeles Daily News with more:

The Catalina Island Conservancy on Wednesday, May 29, reversed its plans to shoot 1,700 deer on the island located 22 miles off the coast of Southern California by using sharpshooters firing from helicopters after strong opposition from residents and county officials.

Instead, the conservancy will use other methods to eliminate the deer, such as expanding hunting to thin the herd, sterilization and relocation.

The conservancy, which manages the island’s 48,000 acres for tourism, including hunting, biking, hiking and camping, presented strong evidence that the deer are eating up the island’s native plants and putting its ecosystem in danger of rare-plant extinctions, invasive grasslands and potential wildfires due to overgrazing.