Residents of Sidney Island, off the coast of Victoria, are divided over plans to cull hundreds of deer on the island. Parks Canada and local First Nations argue that the invasive European fallow deer are destroying the native ecosystem. However, some residents, like Rob Milne, believe that the cull is unnecessary. They argue that efforts were made over a decade ago to remove the deer and that private hunters have been reducing the population annually. Milne also expressed concerns about the potential risks and disruptions caused by the cull. Wendy Ord, another resident, opposes the cull, viewing it as inhumane. On the other hand, Parks Canada’s resource conservation manager, Molly Clarkson, stated that the deer population has declined but the degraded ecosystem has not recovered. She explained that areas without protection have seen minimal growth in native plants and tree regeneration is struggling due to the deer. The cull is planned to be conducted humanely, with oversight from the SPCA and qualified marksmen. Coastal Conservation has been awarded the contract for the cull, which is expected to begin in December. While opinions on the island are split, a petition calling for the cull to be called off has garnered over 18,000 signatures.
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