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Measuring impact of deer in Lake County

June 28, 2009 at 09:07 AM

WAUKEGAN (AP) - The Lake County Forest Preserve District has formed a partnership with Southern Illinois University-Carbondale researchers to measure the damage deer are doing to five protected natural sites in northern Lake County.

Lake County Forest Preserve wildlife biologist Tim Preuss says white-tailed deer are important to the ecosystem but since they have no natural predators they can have negative impacts on vegetation and other wildlife.

The research is underway at Middlefork Savanna, Rollins Savanna, Wadsworth Savanna, Grant Woods and McArthur Woods to examine the potentially destructive plant consumption of the deer. The efforts are part of a larger SIUC study measuring the potential for deer-human conflict in the Chicago area.

Between 20 and 140 deer are culled annually from Lake County forest preserves. The meat is donated to charities.

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