The Mayne Island Invasive Fallow Deer Committee, which has representation from the Conservancy, held its first community information meeting on the May long weekend. There were over 100 people who attended and heard presentations about the history of the fallow deer on Mayne, their impact on the environment, the economic cost of this impact, and the provincial government’s response to date. It was also a chance for the community to ask questions and voice any concerns.

Community meeting presenters left to right: Adam Olsen, MLA Saanich North and the Islands; Malcolm Inglis, Director, Mayne Conservancy; Rob Underhill, Senior Biologist, Mayne Conservancy; Peter Robinson, Director, Mayne Conservancy; Marilyn Winterbottom; Jeanine Dodds; Michael Kilpatrick, Mayne Island Parks and Recreation Commission.

The Committee now has some work to do, and it will be booking another meeting for early September. Until then, if you haven’t sent a letter already, we urge you to write a letter expressing your concerns with the invasive fallow deer on Mayne to the provincial minister who will be involved in the removal solution.

Email to:

Nathan Cullen, BC Minister of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship:

CC the following:

Here are some key messages that can be included in your letter to the provincial government:

  • We have a serious overabundant deer problem on Mayne Island. The combined browsing of overabundant blacktail deer and the introduced fallow deer has caused serious damage to vital aspects of Mayne’s natural environment and resulted in a radical loss of the forest understory.
  • Arbutus and Garry oak seedlings that begin to grow are sought out by the deer and eaten, threatening the long-term existence of these trees and the animals that rely on them. Generations of new trees have been lost to Mayne’s overabundant deer.
  • The invasive fallow deer are especially destructive, because they graze intensively and eat a broader range of plants than the native blacktail deer.
  • In the absence of natural predators, critical action is needed to restore balance. We believe that the fallow deer must be eradicated and the blacktail population reduced to a size that our island can accommodate.
  • The government of BC has a responsibility to manage this issue and provide funding for the eradication of the fallow deer, since it licensed the commercial operation of a fallow deer farm on Mayne in the late 1980s. Now that these deer are feral on the landscape, they are considered provincial wildlife.

Our work on this issue has a better chance of succeeding if we have many voices backing our call for action.

If you’re on Facebook, there is a Mayne Island Fallow Deer group that you could join, and they have a deer tracking form that you can use and submit to help track the deer on Mayne.

For more information about the Conservancy’s work on the invasive fallow deer problem, click here.


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