GREENWICH, Conn. Deer cost the town of Greenwich more than $15 million two years ago, the second highest rate in Fairfield County, according to a report by the Fairfield County Deer Management Alliance.
The study, sponsored in cooperation with the Connecticut Coalition to End Lyme Disease and Connecticut Audubon, included a chart outlining the expenses. It accounted for money spent on damages to landscape, motor vehicle accidents, tick control and tick-borne diseases. The data reflect "conservative estimates," according to the report.
Greenwich was second to Fairfield, which spent more than $16 million on deer-related costs.
"Deer can really eat you out of house and home, and they affect healthy forests," said Karen Dixon, center director of Greenwich Audubon.
The chart outlines the cost deer have on the Greenwich population per capita and on single-family households. On average, Greenwich single-family households spent more than $900 on deer-related costs.
Dixon said the suburbs are a great place for deer to thrive and may be a contributor to their high population and cost to the town.
"They love living where yards meet the woods, and cars are really their only predator," she said. More than $130,000 was spent on deer-related motor vehicle crashes in Greenwich, according to the report.
Greenwich Audubon partners with local bow clubs to hunt deer in the fall, and Dixon said she was unsure how the town plans to curb deer costs and population.
Greenwich Land Conservation could not be reached for comment.
"It's not a matter of hating deer. They absolutely have a part in our ecosystem," Dixon said. "They just can get out of control."
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