Armed biologists to reduce deer in D.C. park

White-tailed deer have become overabundant in Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C. ©haddensavix

U.S. Department of Agriculture biologists who are trained firearms experts are taking to Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C., to reduce the urban park’s population of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). It’s part of a program created in 2012 to deal with the rising deer population. National Park Service officials say deer had reached a density of nearly 100 per square mile. They’re aiming for 15 to 20 deer per square mile. The “overabundant deer have caused damage to the forest — specifically tree seedlings and the ability of the forest to regenerate,” a spokeswoman told the Washington Post. The program will take place at night when the park is closed through March 31. The venison is donated to nonprofits to help families in need.

Read more in the Washington Post.