Colorado Parks and Wildlife are set to start a three-year study on the Roan Plateau to monitor predator control on mule deer numbers.
With mule deer numbers falling below objective in Colorado’s Piceance Basin, Colorado Parks and Wildlife are set to begin a three-year study in 2017 which will monitor predator control on the regions largest deer herd population.
The study, which will take place on the Roan Plateau during May and June, coincides with the fawn birthing period. The study hopes to learn if the control of lions and bears will increase the survival rate of mule deer fawns.
As part of a 2015 strategy that CPW drafted to boost deer numbers through predator control, the study does have its opponents. Wildlife advocates believe habitat loss through oil and gas development has a bigger impact on the deer population than predators do.
CPW has set a statewide objective of 560,000 mule deer. The population is currently estimated at just under 450,000. The Piceance Basin has seen the biggest decline in overall numbers.