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Posted: March 12, 2019

City seeks funds to support translocation trial

City of Cranbrook council last night (March 11) unanimously directed city staff to apply for $22,848 in grant funding from the provincial Urban Deer Cost Share Program to support the East Kootenay Urban Deer Translocation Trial.

The funds would allow contract biologists to complete a full scientific report on comparisons between translocated urban mule deer and GPS radio-collared non-urban mule deer.

Ian Adams of DBA Larix Ecological Consulting, who is the lead of the East Kootenay Urban Deer Translocation Trial, has requested City of Cranbrook support for their application to the Province of British Columbia for grant funding.

“As this grant funding source is only available to municipalities, Mr. Adams is seeking the cooperation and support of the City of Cranbrook to apply for the funding on their behalf. If the application for funding is successful, the city would direct funds through to DBA Larix with five per cent of the funding kept back to cover any city-related administration costs. DBA Larix is requesting $22,848 in funding through the Urban Deer Cost Share program and will be responsible for all reporting required by the Province through the program,” explained a report by the city’s Office of Innovation and Collaboration.

Adams explained in a letter to the city the main objective of this funding request “is a scientifically rigorous comparison of translocated urban deer with non-urban deer in the same areas at the same time using GPS radio collar data. One of the advantages of the translocation trial occurring when it did is that similar data on non-urban mule deer was being collected at the same time. This affords a unique opportunity to test the movement and survival of translocated deer with individuals of the same species at the same time.

“This report is will be submitted for publication to a peer-reviewed wildlife science journal providing increased support for any conclusions on the efficacy of translocation as a management option for urban deer.”

Prior to voting, Coun. Wes Graham asked: “I wonder what it’s going to accomplish or do for us in the long term. Will this provide us with a solution?”

City communications director Chris Zettel replied the funds would allow the translocation trial to come to a conclusion and to be shared with the provincial government for it to determine if translocation is a viable option for municipalities.

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