WAMU 88.5 : News

Maryland Approves The Use of Deer Birth Control

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Maryland has become the first state to approve the use of Gonacon, a birth control product for deer.
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Maryland has become the first state to approve the use of Gonacon, a birth control product for deer.

But wildlife officials have created policies for drug’s use in the past several weeks.

Paul Peditto, director of the Wildlife and Heritage Service, says Gonacon is no "magic bullet” for deer population control. Its use is limited because of the manpower and expense required to use it.

??Deer first have to be tranquilized with a dart gun before the drug can be injected, and the Environmental Protection Agency requires that any deer that is injected also be tagged.

Stephanie Boyles, a wildlife scientist with the Humane Society of the United States, says HSUS applauds the state for approving the use of Gonacon. She says the society has been a strong supporter and developer of contraceptive agents as a means of nonlethal wildlife management.

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Conservationists have long blamed farmers' use of pesticides for decimating the milkweed that monarch caterpillars like to eat. But scientists say simply planting more milkweed isn't the answer.
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