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One thousand fallow deer for South-Eastern Europe?

August 22, 2013

The City of Amsterdam (NL) manages a nature reserve in the Dutch dunes with a large deer population of several thousand animals. Because the animals cause nuisance in neighboring residential areas, the municipality wants a part of the population culled or moved to other areas in Europe.

The municipality has asked Rewilding Europe to investigate whether there are areas within its network, whose owners or managers are willing to take groups of fallow deer. Rewilding Europe has agreed in principle and focuses primarily on South-Eastern Europe, where the deer is considered as part of the native fauna.

It involves a number of more than 1,000 deer, for which a destination is sought in one or more areas. In collaboration with the City of Amsterdam and the organization FREE Nature, the practical aspects of the operation are viewed: such as the best possible method of capture, anesthetize and transport of the animals. Depending on the resulting price tag, the council of Amsterdam decides whether they agree with this solution.

Meanwhile Rewilding Europe hopes, with its partners, to find one or more suitable areas where a first group of animals could be released. Such first transport will take place in the spring of 2014 at the earliest. Condition is that in the receiving area the fallow deer can build up a natural population(density) and the reintroduction is seen as part of the restoration of the entire ecosystem.

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