New phase of deer management begins in Esquimalt

June 24, 2021
Regional News

News release
For immediate release


Esquimalt, BC—The Township of Esquimalt has reached a milestone in managing urban deer.  

After the prescribed three-year deer survey and in consultation with local First Nations, the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development has granted the permit required to participate in studying the efficacy of immunocontraception on deer.  

The research is being done by the University of Victoria Applied Conservation Macro Ecology (ACME) Lab in partnership with the township.

“We recognize that the issues surrounding urban deer are a priority for Esquimalt residents,” said Mayor Barbara Desjardins. “Reaching this important stage in the process will begin to show us how the treatment can impact the number of deer we see in our community.”

The next step in the research is tagging 20 control deer. Capture teams of at least two people (one team lead/wildlife veterinarian and one field technician) will undertake the work. From July 26 to August 11—under the lead and supervision of the project wildlife veterinarian—female deer will be tagged by darting rather than using any physical traps. These researchers will be clearly identifiable by high visibility vests. 

Detections of marked control deer will help researchers determine the Esquimalt urban deer population size. In September-October 2021, up to 100 female deer will be captured and marked to treat with an immunocontraception (IC) vaccination. In fall 2023, previously treated deer will be given an IC booster vaccine. 

More information about the progress of the study can be found at

More information about deer management in Esquimalt can be found at




Tara Zajac
Manager of Communications