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Deer threaten forests around Athens

02 November 2012 / 20:11:20  GRReporter
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The Ministry of Environment is planning to move 18 red deer from Parnitha Park in the region of Attica to the mountainous regions of Karditsa, Thessaly but its idea is facing the resistance of the Greek branch of the WWF environmental organization. Environmentalists insist that the decision of the authorities is ungrounded and puts in danger the population of red deer, which are already considered a threatened species.

The Ministry of Environment has said that the decision to move the deer was taken four months ago, but it has not yet found the means to realize it. "The process is complex and requires money that the forest service does not currently avail and the Ministry is unable to grant it either," public workers told To Vima.

WWF insists that the transportation of the animals is illegal and unjustified. The Ministry wants to move the deer herd at the wrong time - when the breeding process ends. The movement of fertilized wild animals is dangerous and brings stress for both the mother deer and the foetus. "The relocation of the population is not scientifically grounded. It is improvised and critically threatens the species," environmentalists insist.

The Ministry claims that the population of red deer puts forested areas and farmlands in Parnitha to risk. Those, who oppose the process, say there is yet no study that shows that the population of red deer has reached a number that is dangerous for the area. They are adamant that there is no evidence of danger to the flora and fauna of Parnitha that is due to the deer. Environmentalists insist that such attempts in the past were ill fated for the mammals and doubt that the new movement of the deer will be successful.

WWF refers to a previous attempt by the Ministry to change the location of a deer herd in the region of Trikala, which did not lead to the creation of a permanent population. The organization believes that the movement of the animals must be the result of a deliberate selection by age, species and sex of deer, for which an adequate new environment should be provided. Whether environmentalists will outweigh the Ministry's decision is not yet known, but it seems that the economic crisis rebounds to the environmentalists’ advantage.

Tags: SocietyEcologyWWFDeerParnithaKarditsa
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