The Effects of Overpopulation of White-Tailed Deer in Maryland. What animal should not be left to reproduce unchecked? The over population of the White-Tailed deer has had many negative effects in Maryland. The increase in the deer herd impacts the ecology of the forest and the Chesapeake Bay, increases the cost to the agricultural and farming community and leads to an increased rate of deer-vehicle related accidents. There are many who believe we should let nature take its own course, that we do not need a plan to manage the white-tailed deer population. Deer management is a necessity. Without a plan, the effects to Maryland’s natural ecosystem and the farming and agricultural communities could be devastating and costly, not to mention lead to an increase in deer related vehicle collisions. The over population of the white tailed deer has had a significant impact on the ecology of the forest and the Chesapeake Bay. Studies done by the Department of Natural Resources show that the over grazing of ground level vegetation by deer, has led to a decrease in habitat for smaller species of wildlife and affects the regeneration of Maryland’s native vegetation. Furthermore, over grazing decreases the growth of native plants and allows for exotic species to thrive and threaten Maryland’s natural ecosystem. These studies have also found that a decrease in the ground level vegetation has allowed an increase of runoff into the Chesapeake Bay, causing negative impacts on the water quality and clarity, and an increase of pollutants in the Bay. In turn, the aquatic species and plants in the Chesapeake Bay will decrease and become extinct.
Deer over population in Maryland is costing some farmers their livelihood. It is estimated that the white tailed deer caused Maryland’s farmers an estimated “$9.6 million in wildlife-related crop damage during 2008 and Maryland farmers spent over $600,000 on crop damage preventative measures. Maryland’s deer were responsible for...
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