Arlington’s Department of Parks and Recreation is organizing its first “Deer Day” on Tuesday, Jan. 28 from 5:30 to 6:00 p.m. Parks officials are attempting to take “a snapshot census of the deer population in Arlington.”
Arlington Natural Resources Manager Alonso Abugattas said if residents can “go to the nearest park” or just spend a half hour looking through their backyard and count the number of deer they observe, it will help Parks and Recreation officials estimate the number of deer in the county.
The deer census is conducted in line with the county’s Natural Resource Management Plan, according to Abugattas. Deer is just one of the species Parks and Recreation will attempt to inventory.
“It’s important to know what we have,” Abugattas told ARLnow.com in an email. “It’s a snap shot in time and will cover as many of our parks as possible, targeting some particularly sensitive natural areas in particular. These one-day snap shots in time will hopefully ensure we don’t count the same animals twice since we will be at multiple parks at the same time. We may repeat this exercise several times if we see that there is good participation and results.”
Abugattas said January is the best time for the exercise since there is less leaf cover and it gets darker earlier, so volunteers don’t have to be out as late. Abugattas said he will use “multiple methods over a long period of time” to try to get the most accurate county possible.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Local Deer Population Growing — The local population of white-tailed deer is on the rise and having an impact on plant life in Arlington County, according to a county naturalist. “Shrubs like spicebush and pawpaw are becoming much more abundant at the expense of things like wild azaleas, oaks, cedars and American euonymus,” said naturalist Alonso Abugattas. [Sun Gazette]
New Trail Signs Installed — New “wayfinding” signs were recently installed along bike and pedestrian routes throughout the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor. The signs are intended to make it easier to navigate to one’s destination, but sometimes can be unintentionally confusing. [Greater Greater Washington]
Arlington Civil War Shirts Available — The Arlington Plaza Library at 2100 Clarendon Boulevard in Courthouse is selling a t-shirt commemorating the Civil War sesquicentennial in Arlington. The Arlington Civil War 150 t-shirts are offered in three different colors for $10 apiece. [Arlington Public Library]
Flickr pool photo by Damiec
Happy Fat Tuesday — It’s Fat Tuesday, the traditional day of feasting (or partying) before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. To celebrate the occasion, the annual Clarendon Mardi Gras parade will be held tonight, starting at 8:00 p.m. See our list of local Mardi Gras happenings for additional festivities around Arlington.
Three Arrested After Ballston Fight — Three suspects were arrested following a fight near the Ballston Metro station Monday evening. The fight broke out in the area of Fairfax Drive and N. Stuart Street. Fairfax Drive was partially blocked by police vehicles following the incident. Additional details were not immediately available.
Arlington Man Killed in Loudoun County — An Arlington man was killed when a deer came crashing through the windshield of the SUV he was riding in Saturday night. The freak accident happened on Route 9 in Loudoun County around 7:30 p.m. Police say a Toyota Prius first hit the deer, launching it in the air. The deer came down on the SUV, killing 26-year-old Rodolfo Ruiz Villatoro of Arlington. [MyFoxDC]
Legislators Accept Trips and Gifts — Among the corporate gifts and travel accepted by local state lawmakers last year: a $8,796 trip to France (Del. David Englin) and $400 circus tickets (Del. Patrick Hope). [Sun Gazette]
The group says the number of calls they receive regarding deer has risen every year for the past six years. In 2005, for instance, there were 39 deer-related calls, compared to 79 such calls so far this year.
“Calls range from complaints about deer eating plants to injured deer to deer killed by cars,” AWLA employee Rita Naimoli said in an email. “We recently had two bucks crash through a resident’s window. Our officers see the evidence every day of the quickly growing deer population. Like other wild animals deer now thrive in some of the densest human settlements.”
Residents should avoid feeding deer, Naimoli said, to avoid situations like this.
“Although deer are beautiful creatures, feeding them destroys their natural fear of humans and can lead to aggression,” she wrote. “The League urges residents to enjoy wildlife from a distance and to avoid any interaction for their own safety and the well being of wildlife.”
Although it’s technically deer hunting season in Northern Virginia, Arlington County ordinances prohibit the use of bows and firearms for hunting in most circumstances.
Flickr pool photo by Mark C. White
Older Arlington Residents Give County High Marks — Arlington scored well above the state average in a recent survey of older Virginians. “People over 50 years of age in Arlington say they have a high quality of life, feel safe and secure, and are happy with their access to healthcare services, educational opportunities and recreational activities,” according to a county press release. [Arlington County]
‘Hairspray’ Actor Is Local TV/Radio Personality — Local WETA on-air personality Robery Aubry Davis is playing the role of Edna Turnblad in the Signature Theatre production of ‘Hairspray,’ which opened in Shirlington last week. [Sun Gazette]
Fighting Deer Cause Ruckus — According to an Arlington animal control blotter item, a pair of fighting bucks crashed through a glass patio window in the 3600 block of N. Monroe Street earlier this month. [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by Philliefan99
According to police radio traffic, the young female deer was walking right up to Glebe Elementary School students today before school — a behavior much more reminiscent of a lost puppy than a wild deer. In days past, kids had been spotted feeding the deer in a local park.
Arlington animal control officers are reportedly aware of the deer and are trying to capture it.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons
This morning, just before 8:30, a small deer was struck by a vehicle on a ramp from Sycamore Street to I-66, in East Falls Church. The gravely injured deer apparently stumbled down to the corner of Sycamore Street and 19th Street, where it collapsed and died in a grassy yard next to the southbound Sycamore Street sidewalk.
Three and a half hours later, the deer is still there and visible to passersby.
Arlington Police, called to the scene after the deer was struck, left shortly after confirming the deer was dead and placing a call to the county’s animal control contractor. But we hear that the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, which performs animal control and sheltering services to the county under a contract worth more than $1.2 million as of FY 2010, has told police that it may take a while to pick up the deer since there’s only one animal control officer working today.
ARLnow.com has been told in the past that animal control is often short-staffed in Arlington. A message on the League’s answering machine said its main offices were closed today.
Police are on the scene of a deer found lying in the middle of I-66.
The deer was hit and killed by a vehicle near Sycamore Street, where I-66 was shut down yesterday morning due to multiple accidents caused by deer in the roadway.
Police are in the process of moving the carcass to the side of the road. No word on the fate of the vehicle that hit the deer and apparently continued on its way.
WUSA is reporting that the highway was closed from 5:00 to 6:30 a.m. due to multiple chain-reaction crashes caused by deer running onto the roadway.
Deer-vehicle collisions are becoming increasingly common in the United States. Between 2007 and 2009, the number of reported crashes involving deer rose 18.3 percent compared to the period five years prior.