LETTER: Deer native to Vancouver Island for thousands of years

Re: Deer not native to Gordon Head, letter in the Aug. 16 Saanich News. The letter writer incorrectly states that there were “no deer in the Gordon Head district between the years 1942 and 1969” and that deer are “now an invasive species.”

In fact, black tailed deer are indigenous to our area and have been around for literally thousands of years.

This is borne out by First Nations traditions, along with documents, photographs, letters and maps that can be accessed through the local library or municipal archives, which show an abundance of wildlife, including indigenous deer.

I too grew up in Gordon Head and also rarely saw deer in the 1960s and 1970s. However, they were there and in surrounding areas, and it was a special experience when I did. I well remember seeing deer in a field off of McKenzie Avenue (then known as Ruby Road) and being thrilled.

Loss of habitat is a major factor in why we see deer more often now. In the 1960s and 1970s, much of Gordon Head was rural or wooded and provided excellent natural habitat for deer and other wildlife. Those areas have largely been developed since then and deer are more visible with fewer natural spaces to call their own. Loss of habitat has also been a significant factor in the decline of red squirrels.

Efforts to learn how to co-exist with wildlife are ongoing throughout our region, which is noted for its natural beauty, including its visible wildlife species both on land and in the ocean. In those efforts, it’s important that we understand that deer are indigenous to Vancouver Island.

Kristy Kilpatrick, president

Urban Wildlife Stewardship Society

Just Posted

Tenant relocation plan recommended in Victoria city staff report

City to consider renter protection program Thursday

Oak Bay teacher wins 91.3 the Zone’s Teacher of the Month

French teacher at École Willows School wins custom Converse from Baggins and Big Wheel gift cards

New safety doors aim to protect transit drivers

These new full-length doors will be tested in Victoria, Kelowna and Abbotsford

VIDEO: Sooke man attempts to break world record in squats to fundraise for B.C. children’s hospital

‘I’m definitely a little nervous but I know in my heart that I’ll be able to finish,’ says Kris Winther

Sooke high school holds third annual 10,000 Tonight food drive

Donations can be dropped off at Village Foods, SEAPARC, Stick in the Mud coffeehouse, and EMCS

Oak Bay teacher wins 91.3 the Zone’s Teacher of the Month

French teacher at École Willows School wins custom Converse from Baggins and Big Wheel gift cards

Education minister blasts Chilliwack school trustee on gender issues

Fleming calls Neufeld’s behaviour ‘shameful’ and ‘unacceptable’

Local businesses help by replace aging wheels

Collabortive effort assists with charitable deliveries

‘Fresh eyes’ looking into three missing Cowichan Tribes men

First Nations want answers to their disappearances

FortisBC LNG site exports first shipment of gas to China

The shipment is part of a pilot project that could see more exports in the future.

BC RCMP hunt for white SUV that rammed cruiser

Kamloops RCMP are looking for a white SUV headed north on the Yellowhead Highway

B.C. to reimburse methadone patients for taking clinic fees off welfare cheques

Provincial government agrees to pay back more than $5.5 million in deducted fees

Stiff fine for B.C. man caught trafficking bear parts

A Cache Creek resident was charged after an undercover sting operation by conservation officers

Saanich grocery store serves up chili for fundraiser

A local grocery store served delicious chili to warm the stomach and… Continue reading

Most Read