BALD HEAD ISLAND, NC (WECT) - The Friends of the Bald Head Island Deer Program has raised $49,000 to fund the first year of a new program that injects the immuno-contraceptives drug GonaCon in certain female deer to manage the population on the island.
The $49,000 funds the first year of the program, which will be the first of its kind in North Carolina. Earlier this year, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (WRC) granted the Village of Bald Head a six-year permit for the program.
The organization was able to raise the majority of the money for the new program over the summer.
"We began our fundraising efforts in earnest during Memorial Day weekend," said Dough Oakley, the organizations spokesperson. "The Friends of BHI Deer received contributions from donors as well as the proceeds from the sale of sports cups, balloon hats, and homemade craft items. BHI children chipped in by selling lemonade and other items to raise funds. The Friends of BHI Deer participated in many different events at various island locations to raise the money. We are grateful to the Island businesses that have lent their support. We are thankful to the BHI community for its support. The specific role of the Friends of BHI Deer in the partnership is to raise awareness and funding for the immuno-contraceptives program. The budget for the program was developed by the BHIC and the first year cost for the program is estimated to be $49,000."
Certain female deer will be given the drug in January of 2014.
Only a percentage of the female deer will be treated. The program will be administered by BHI Island Conservancy under the direction of NC Wildlife Resources.
Oakley says the program is made possible by cooperation from the following organizations: Friends of BHI Deer, Wildlife Resources Commission, the Village of BHI, and the BHI Island Conservancy.