Various Ways of Controlling Deer Population

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The population of the horse and deer has been increasing for many years which is causing surge agricultural damage, adverse effect on local biodiversity, and a more frequent car accident involving deer (Boulanger). Many authorities have proposed various ways of controlling deer population including culling, surgical sterilization using tubal ligation, translocation predator reintroduction, fertility control using vaccines and other (Boulanger). They all have failed to achieve the main goal of reaching sustainable deer population. Spayvac has already developed immunocontraception vaccine which lasts more than two years, but the main problem is how to give this vaccine to deer and horse. The current way of administering this vaccine is catching /anesthetizing /tagging immunocontraceptive vaccine which is laborious and expansive with significant drawbacks. Here we propose some alternatives to already existing tested and tried methods.

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The deer-vehicle collisions have been increasing throughout the country, and according to Daniel, approximately 1 to 2 million vehicle collision occurs which is a lot (Olson). Table 1 depicts the losses which are occurring due to the increasing population of the deer. Human is not the only one who bears the loss, the deer are also bearing the loss. For example, thousands of deer die every year because of vehicle collisions (Olson). If we are able to reduce the population of the deer, then not only human will benefit by this, but thousands of deer life will be saved. Figure 1, and 2 shows the vehicle Collison rates of few states. These are the data of few states, now think how many vehicle collisions are actually occurring throughout the country. If we try to use the current method to vaccinate the deer, then it will be both expensive and labor intensive. We propose the idea of using drones to deliver the vaccine and simultaneously tag the animals with permanent fluorescent dye.

Drones are not new; they have successfully introduced into various market for different jobs. A recent report states that drugs were delivered via drone drops in prairie dog population regulation effort (Russell). These were not vaccines but drugs mixed in with the food (Russell). We envision a drone with some kind of shooting capability where vaccine could be delivered from a height without harm to humans. The vaccinated animals will be marked with a fluorescent dye. It would enable easy recognition when the time for revaccination is due. There are dyes on the market that are not visible in the VIS range and would not affect animal’s ability to function in a group (as opposed to brightly colored one) but would be visible in the UV range. Drone with a UV detector would then be able to avoid shooting vaccine darts at “colored” animal. According to Dr. Haddy , that these dyes are safe and will not hurt deer.

Deer mostly love to live under the cover wood area. In the summer, it is hard to catch deer using the bait because they can easily run into the wood (Olson). The other solution would be to use bait in the winter. Spayvan can convert the vaccine into capsule, especially developed for the acidic environment in the deer’s intestinal tract. It would be able to protect the active component long enough that it reaches the part of the deer's stomach where is could be resorbed. It would eliminate the expansive and changeling task of capturing the animal. Capsules would be mixed in with the corn and eaten with bate. Then, an automated system near the bating station would shoot dye packs at the dear who ate the active component. They would be distinguishable under UV detection from those who have not eaten it.

Another integrated automated system near the bating station would be responsible for driving off deer that had already eaten the capsules by emitting a loud noise or something similar when UV detector triggers from dyes on deer.The situation with wild horses is somewhat better in the sense that they are easier to identify, capture and corral upon which the vaccine is applied. Current recent research has shown that vaccine vaccination is a viable solution for the overpopulation problem. And, only some studies which claim deviation from 95% efficacy, stating that just around half of those vaccinated mares don't reproduce (Hobbs).

The overall agreement is that the main problem is the frequency of vaccination needed for prolonged infertility. Vaccination needing capture in corral leads to stress and injuries, behavioral changes and unwanted reaction at injection sites (Hobbs). This is where the main advantage of SpayVac lies as there is a reduction in the number of needed vaccination by 50%. This fact cuts the cost of production/delivery and also lowers the possibility of the occurrence of stress/injury and behavioral changes which are among chief concerns. Only possible avenue of improving the chances of SpayVac in the marketplace is to prepare an orally deliverable product with the active component inside which could easily be fed to large herds as there is no available drug with these properties (Sharma).

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