Deer Population Imbalance and Our Forests

Are you concerned about the impact of the growing white-tailed deer population on the precarious health of our urban forests and tree canopy? The following resources provide some basics to help you get started. Please contact us for additional information.

Hungry white tailed deer at Zachary Taylor Park in Arlington. Native plants installed for forest regeneration must be protected by cages.. Photo by Todd Minners.

Arlington County commissioned a study of its deer population in 2021 that included aerial surveys. The study found unhealthy levels of deer throughout the county and recommended “agressive deer management” in some areas to preserve native habitat, allow birds to thrive, and avoid starvation and disease for the deer. See the full 2021 Arlington County deer study here.

Virginia Native Plant Society: Manage White-Tailed Deer to Protect Our Natural Heritage

ARMN blog: “White-tailed Deer and Forest Health in Northern Virginia” 

Restoring Balance: White-tailed Deer Management in Northern Virginia. Note: This is a flyer designed to be a double-sided printed document. Set your printer to borderless printing.

Deer population management programs by nearby jurisdictions include: Fairfax County’s Deer Management Program, Rock Creek Park’s White Tail Deer Management Program, and the National Park Service program at Catoctin Mountain in Maryland. The Catoctin program has resulted in an 11-fold increase in the number of tree seedlings.

See also the Virginia Department Game and Inland Fisheries Deer Management Plan.