Deer, rodents thriving due to warm weather
Wildlife experts say depleted deer populations are seeing improvement. Last year's harsh winter claimed a higher number of deer than usual, especially young deer.
The mild weather "will help for the populations to recover," said Ken Robizant, the big game manager at Manitoba Conservation. "Deer populations were at a real low, so with the recovery it will bring them back to more normal populations."
The lack of snow and warm temperatures are giving deer easier access to food. But Robizant says the recovery will still likely take a few years.
Deer aren't the only species benefiting from weather.
"Every once in awhile we get mice, but we've never seen them like this year," said David Lane of Poulin's Pest Control.
The lack of snow has sent mice indoors in search of warmth, and Poulin's has seen a uptick in business.
"Rodents at this time of year don't have that insulation to keep them warm with that snow pack and are just having to move in looking for new places to live," Lane said.
Beavers, too, are popping up in unexpected places. Gloria Bilay has installed steel barriers around her trees after the creatures found their way into her yard.
"They seem to be more plentiful. They're just destructive," Bilay said.
Others might be concerned that a recovering deer population could mean seeing more of the animals on roadways. Wildlife officials say it's not likely. With better access to food in natural areas, deer are expected to stay there for the duration of winter -- good news for both recovering deer populations and busy commuters.
- with a report from CTV's Josh Crabb