Managing Deer Population in the Preservation Park & Hanlon Creek Conservation Area
As Guelph continues to grow, human-animal interactions are happening more frequently. One species in particular that appears to have readily adapted to this development is the white-tailed deer. Province-wide, the deer population is estimated to have increased tenfold between 1980 and 2005. In Guelph, many deer inhabit the Preservation Park/Hanlon Creek Conservation Area. However, deer must move about in the landscape, something that those in the Preservation Park are either unable to do, or do with danger to their own and human lives. The goal of this research was to investigate ways to ease the tension between humans and this deer population. To do so, researchers analysed the suitability of the landscape and considered the overall landscape system layout (sites/links/hubs). They then examining green infrastructure initiatives that could guide the movement of animals through the landscape, as well as strategies that can help manage the human-deer relationship. Finally, design solutions were proposed to deter or compel the movement of deer from/to Preservation Park/Hanlon Creek Conservation Area. These suggestions included construction of a multi-use overpass across the Hanlon Expressway, installation of reflectors along Kortright Road West, signage upgrades, use of fencing and jump-outs along Gordon Street, and introduction of a deer crosswalk across Clair Road West. Supporting strategies included suggestions to the City to strengthen its education, research, policy and long-term strategic planning efforts in managing the deer-human relationship.