Calls for increased culling and fencing of deer in Killarney
The National Parks and Wildlife Service has ruled out fencing off sections of the Killarney National Park alongside public main roads where deer are crossing onto the paths of motorists.
A campaign has been launched in the town to keep Killarney road users safe from deer.
Gardai in Killarney are receiving reports of collisions particularly in the Fossa area immediately west of the town alongside Lough Leane where large red deer walk directly onto the national secondary N72 Ring of Kerry from the national park .
Old walls which once separated the road from the park woodland areas are no longer in place, and deer are moving from the uplands onto lowland grazing areas in huge numbers.
Last year 120 mostly red deer were culled by the NPWS. However there are growing calls for a more severe cull as well as for fencing.
Killarney’s sika deer, which are now recognised as a particularly pure strain of the Japanese deer brought into Ireland in the 19th century, have also increased.
The NPWS concede the inherently mobile deer are involved in collisions, but say they have “no plans” to fence alongside public roads.
Fencing thousands of hectares would not be viable, and would be “an enormous task” and ineffective, particularly against the smaller sika, it said.