YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Monday night the Board of Park Commissioners for Mill Creek MetroParks met to discuss the area’s growing white-tailed deer population.
During a special presentation, the park’s natural resource manager laid out problems the area is facing because it is beyond the sustainable number of deer.
Some experts think that the population density of deer here in the area is the highest in the state.
Nick Derico has been monitoring the deer population in all the Mill Creek Metro Parks for several years.
Mill Creek MetroParks average 387 deer per square mile. According to a series of studies conducted by the Parks, Yellow Creek Park has the highest population density at 674 deer per square mile.
“That ideal range should be more in the 10 to 20 deer per square mile,” Derico said. “We’re currently the only county park district not addressing the deer populations.”
Derico says he currently knows of three albino deer living in the parks. As much as people love seeing them, their prevalence is an indication of poor herd health and possible inbreeding.
“The white deer is very culturally significant to the area,” Derico said. “They’re very cool to see. Very beautiful. But it should be a very rare sight. Albinism should be one in 20,000 or maybe as high as one in 30,000 deer under normal circumstances.”
The parks are still considering the best ways to lower the deer population. They want input from the public. They will meet again next month to discuss their options.
For more information and a feedback survey on the issue, visit Mill Creek’s website.