Deer-Spotting Plane Counts Animals' Population on Staten Island

By Nicholas Rizzi on February 7, 2014 3:41pm 

 The Parks Department will start an aerial count of the growing deer population on Staten Island.
The Parks Department will start an aerial count of the growing deer population on Staten Island.
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DNAinfo/Nicholas Rizzi

STATEN ISLAND — The Parks Department will conduct an aerial survey of several parks in Staten Island to count the growing deer population.

The Parks Department will send a small plane mounted with an infrared camera to count the number of deer in parks from Friday night until Saturday night, the department said in a release.

The plane will fly at 1,000 feet over 11 parks in the borough, including Freshkills Park and the Greenbelt.

The survey will be used to establish a baseline for the number of deer in the borough and help develop management plans, the Parks Department said.

Residents in the borough estimated that 1,500 deer roam the island in 2012. A community board proposed a "Deer Are Not Bambi" campaign to curb feeding of the deer.

Christopher Cushieri, director for Clay Pit Ponds State Park Preserve in Charleston, which has a large deer population, previously told DNAinfo New York that many residents feed the deer food that would not be found in their diet, like potato-chips.

"People look at how cute they are and start feeding them, and the worst we can do is feed them," he said. "Let them live on their own."

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