Connecticut Deer Reduction at Bluff Point Coastal Reserve

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The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced that eleven deer will be culled from the Bluff Point Coastal Reserve (BPCR) in Groton by biologists from the DEP's Wildlife Division as part of the ongoing efforts to maintain the ecological balance at the Reserve. The activities will occur on select nights in late January and early February 2007. All deer taken, after being examined by DEP biologists to assess the overall health of the deer herd, will be donated to "Hunters for the Hungry" for distribution to local food charities.

"Since deer removals efforts began in 1996, the DEP has successfully reduced the overabundant population of deer at Bluff Point," said Ed Parker, Chief of DEP's Bureau of Natural Resources. "Such measures are necessary to not only increase the health of the deer herd at the Reserve but also to help protect and maintain the biodiversity of fauna. Yearly cullings allow the DEP to preserve this native and unique ecosystem not only for the species that inhabit the Reserve but also for people who visit the state park each year."

The deer population is currently estimated at 36 deer. Reducing the deer population by eleven is necessary to achieve the goal population of 25 deer. The goal population needs to be maintained in order to protect health of the species and prevent over-foraging by deer on native flora.

The DEP will be conducting the culling after sunset when the park is closed to the public. DEP Environmental Conservation Police Officers will be present at Bluff Point to enforce the existing park closure time.

In February 2006, the DEP culled twenty deer from Bluff Point as part of its ongoing wildlife management program. Since the implementation of deer management efforts at Bluff Point Coastal Reserve in January 1996, the deer population has been reduced from almost 300 down to 25 resulting in an overall increase in deer health.

The deer taken from Bluff Point will be donated to local food charities.