State officials OK deer cull on Block Island
While Jamestown officials are figuring out how to manage its own deer herd, the state Department of Environmental Management last week filed emergency regulations to reduce the over-population of white-tailed deer that currently presents an imminent risk to the health, safety and welfare of Block Island’s natural resources.
The density of white-tailed deer on the 9.75-square mile town of New Shoreham is estimated at 80 to 100 deer per square mile. The herd is about nine times the desirable level for cultural tolerance on Block Island. Traditional management methods have been unsuccessful in reducing the island’s deer population.
The regulations allow DEM to conduct a bait and shoot culling operation that will take effect immediately. According to the state Health Department, there is some evidence that deer reduction will decrease the burden of tick-borne diseases.