The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) have selected their wildlife management experts and have begun culling Deer in the Killarney National Park.
The NPWS have anticipated that approximately 80 Deer will be culled during this project which will end in late March this year.
The NPWS aims to cull around 80% of females and 20% of males before the end of the month. Culling more females than males is a conservation exercise used to improve genetic variation amongst the wild herds of Deer and has been exercised successfully for many years.
The Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs carried out surveys of Killarney National Park during winter 2016 to determine the distribution, population density and structure of the Red and Sika Deer herds.
From these comprehensive surveys, it was identified that a cull was necessary this year. This is because the surveys found that the population density for the Red Deer was 708 within an area of 13.64km squared.
Minister for the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs – Michael Ring, stated that there is a huge challenge in balancing all the incoming and continued demands for agriculture, forestry and conservation collectively. There is great difficulty in meetings these needs and ensuring that Deer populations in the National Park are managed appropriately (ethically, sustainably and in an economically viable manner.)
There will be more updates on this conservation project in the coming weeks.