Greenwich

Denise Savageau

The Town of Greenwich ( http://www.greenwichct.org/FAQList.asp?did=23) recognises the serious deleterious effects of a large deer herd, estimated to be around 68 per square mile, and ran a controlled sharpshooter hunt in 2005 to reduce the number of deer in three town properties; a park, a preserve and the golf course. http://www.greenwichct.org/ConservationCommission/ConservationCommDetail.asp?dcid=922

Audubon Greenwich also ran controlled hunts over fall/winter 2003-2004 at two of its sanctuaries and subsequently expanded this to four sanctuaries.

Contact information: Conservation Director (203) 622-6461 or dsavageau@greenwichct.org.

From the Town Web site:
Q. Is the Town doing anything to manage white-tailed deer?
A. The over-population of white-tailed deer has been well documented in Greenwich. The Conservation Commission worked with the University of Connecticut's Wildlife Conservation and Research Center to develop a deer management program for the Town. Click here for Deer Fact Sheets.

The Conservation Commission issued its final report on deer management. The First Selectman requested this study in 2000. Corrected figures from an aerial survey completed in 2001 estimates that the Town has an over-population deer with up to 68 deer/sq mi in back country and 52 deer/sq mile between the Merritt Parkway and Post Road. Wildlife biologists estimate that normal deer populations average between 10-15/sq mi. The over-abundant deer population is taking its toll on the biodiversity of our forest because of the heavy deer browse. This is having a negative impact on many species of plants and animals that thrive in the forest under story and the integrity of our open space parks.

In addition, overpopulation of deer is directly correlated to incidences of Lyme Disease and deer/vehicular accidents. According to Greenwich Police Department, for the last three years, the average number of deer/vehicular accidents/yr in Greenwich is 48, almost 1 per week. In 2001 and 2002, the State Department of Public Health reported that the total number of Lyme disease cases reported in Connecticut were 3597 and 4631 respectively. The average for the 169 towns in Connecticut was 21.2 and 27.4 for those same years. In Greenwich, the reported cases were 57 and 62 respectively, well above the average. In addition, the Greenwich Department of Health reported that, in 2004, 38% of the ticks brought into the lab tested positive for Lyme.

To protect the health and safety of its residents and the maintain its ecological heritage, the Commission recommended that Greenwich's deer herd size be reduced to less than 26 deer/sq mi within 3-5 years. The Commission further recommended that the Town take the lead by actively reducing the herd size on Town properties and promoting hunting on private lands.