Gov. David Ige has extended the emergency relief period for the axis deer crisis in Maui County through Jan. 17, the Governor’s Office announced Friday afternoon.
Despite ongoing efforts, the deer population has grown to about 60,000 or more and has devastated pasture forage and vegetation that are already scarce because of drought, according to the Governor’s Office. Axis deer are migrating into agricultural and developed areas seeking food and water and potentially spreading disease. Increasing numbers are also foraging in urbanized areas.
The emergency relief period allows the county and state to continue taking measures to reduce and control the deer and implement management strategies. This includes corralling of axis deer, culling of the deer to sustainable levels, clearing vegetation along fence lines and erecting and/or reinforcing fence lines to keep axis deer away from roadways, airports and runways.
In September, the state Department of Agriculture also opened an emergency loan program to help farmers with the costs associated with the overpopulation of deer in Maui County.
For more information on the program, visit hdoa.hawaii.gov /blog/main/nr22-13mauiaxisdeerloans/.