An Unfortunate Update on the Local Deer…

said on March 13th, 2018 filed under: Localism



From the Department of Fish and Wildlife:


“Thanks to those who have helped CDFW get samples to test the deer that have been dying in the foothill communities in Nevada, and Placer counties. We have enough samples and have concluded through necropsy and testing that the die off is not related to disease. It is winterkill from overpopulation of the resident deer in these areas. The drought years allowed deer to reproduce and grow in numbers and now the resources are stressed. There’s not enough natural food to feed them all. You may see deer eating things they haven’t before. People are also feeding them. I’d like to stress that feeding deer is illegal, it attracts unwanted predators like coyotes and mountain lions into neighborhoods but it can harm more than help the deer. If this were disease related-feeding or congregating deer at water sources means disease spreads faster and more get sick. They have complicated stomach systems that can be injured by trying to digest alfalfa, corn, or human foods that aren’t part of their natural diet. The diarrhea is a function of poor nutrition and eating some of the things they shouldn’t. This is a normal process that unfortunately we have to witness in our backyards instead of in the wild. Some may recover, but I’d expect to lose more. Malnourished females may not be able to carry out their current pregnancy and we may see fewer fawns surviving this summer. I appreciate your concern, if we need further help we will let you know. “

Sara Holm, Wildlife Biologist

California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Placer and Nevada Counties, North Central Region (2)

1701 Nimbus Road Suite A

Rancho Cordova, CA 95670

Phone/Fax: 530 346 6305

California Department of Fish and Wildlife


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