In the 1980's the British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture permitted a local farmer to raise European Fallow Deer on Mayne Island. The Ministry was supposed to have monitored these "farms" ensuring fencing was sufficient to contain the animals. They did not. So in 1992 approximately 50 deer escaped. After this initial escape, the Ministry responded by correspondence saying they would help recapture these animals. This did not happen and so we have our Fallow Deer invasion. Interesting to note, that after 30 days, the escaped Fallow Deer became "Crown" property and no longer under the Ministry of Agriculture but under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Environment...as wildlife.
The Ministry of the Environment, has since been changed to the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources. (Ministry of FLNR). Fallow Deer have been rapidly multiplying ever since. This farm is no longer active, and there are no captive Fallow Deer remaining on Mayne Island.
In 1996, in response to a petition sent to the Ministry, five hunting licenses were issued by British Columbia Wild Life to hunt only Fallow Deer on specific private lands. Mayne Island has been a no hunting zone and without this management action by volunteers, it is estimated there would be up to 4,000 Fallow Deer on Mayne Island today. There are currently 7 licenses and 2 Farm nuisance permits issued for Fallow Deer.
In 2010, the Mayne Island Conservancy Society became aware of the environmental impact and damages caused by the growing Fallow Deer population.
In 2011 meetings were held about Black Tail and Fallow Deer by the Mayne Island Ratepayers Association.
In 2013 MICS and MIRA held extensive public consultation meetings over deer concerns. At the conclusion, they presented a report to the Ministry of FLNR, which reflected the handling of the deer over-population on Mayne Island. The community was not willing to open up hunting on Mayne Island but was concerned and supportive of a continued Fallow Deer cull.
In 2013, from the Mayne Island Residents & Ratepayers Association public meetings emerged and the Mayne Island Fallow Deer Committee was formed and headed by Jeanine Dodds, our local Trustee and assisted by a group of concerned volunteers.
In 2014, because of the complexity of this issue, four sub-committees were later created to assist the Mayne Island Fallow Deer Committee. This Education Committee is one of these sub-committees and has created this website for the purpose of informing the community about the impact of the Fallow Deer on Mayne Island's ecosystems and to promote its restoration through responsible management of Fallow Deer.