Linda Nagata: the blog at Hahví.net

Axis Deer

May 12th, 2011

Yesterday while jogging early in the morning I was startled by two axis deer crossing the road about twenty yards ahead of me. They’re beautiful creatures, but they’re not native to Hawaii. They were introduced to Maui in 1959, in an ill-conceived effort by the State of Hawaii to promote game hunting.

On the island of Moloka`i, the deer have laid waste to vast tracts of native forest. On Maui they long tended to live in the lowlands, where most of the native forest has already been eliminated, but their population has been steadily increasing and their range expanding.

Once upon a time they were never seen in Kula, where I live. Now, it’s still unusual to actually see them, but they’re around. Just ask any farmer!

Perhaps the state of Hawaii will figure out a solution before the deer get into our remaining native forests, but I don’t think anyone is placing bets on it.

Posted on: Thursday, May 12th, 2011 at 6:53 pm
Categories: Maui.

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