White Tailed Deer and Wasting Disease Keystone Species Discussion
I am working on getting a fence around my garden. If I don’t the deer will destroy it. When my grandfather was young, deer were scarce. They had been overhunted. While that sounds terrible, this was the South, many people were recovering from the great depression and those deer were eaten. People were hungry. Fast forward to now. There are no real predators in most areas other than hunting. The deer population is huge. That has led to an increase of Chronic Wasting Disease. Below are some links that discuss all of this and why it is important. Use these links to explain to your classmates your understanding of deer as a Keystone Species and their role in the ecosystems.
Read this first: What is a Keystone species? Keystone Species 101 (Links to an external site.)
Then read this: What is CWD? (Links to an external site.)
Then choose one or both of the following sources to discuss. Make sure you cite it/them in APA. then, since this is a Discussion, make sure you reply to two other classmates.
Here is one of my classmate post as example:
Every person who grows up in Arkansas can recognize that the population of whitetail deer is huge, but what does that mean for the food chains? Deer control the population of leafy and woody plants, and their role of being a keystone species holds them to high standards when it comes to population control. Without whitetail deer, the ecosystems would maybe see an increase in overgrowth with woody and leafy plants. A decrease in any potential predators of deer (coyotes, bears, etc) would also be seen. The Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in deer is a factor that is raising attention to these potential outcomes. We have never seen the impact of the absence of deer and how it affects wildlife, and hopefully, we can maintain healthy levels of the population to keep the ecosystem thriving.
Hunting has always been a common hobby in my family. I grew up knowing the benefits of hunting and how it can nourish our family, but also how it can benefit the population of deer. In Missouri’s department of conservation article, they explain that “Hunting is one of the main tools to control deer numbers. Hunters gain food, trophy antlers, and outdoor adventure.” They also provide many examples of locations that have been successfully managed by hunting.
White-Tailed deer and the wild places they shape. Missouri Department of Conservation. (n.d.). https://mdc.mo.gov/magazines/conservationist/2018-11/white-tailed-deer-wild-places-they-shape.