- τουρισμός, περιβάλλον & πολιτική - tourism, environment & politics

Ministry of Environment will not allow deer hunting in Rhodes

Commenting on the controversial decision by the Rhodes Municipal Council to investigate solutions, including hunting and sterilization, to the problem of the "Platoni" deer (Dama dama) overpopulation which destroys crops and causes around 20 road accidents annually,  Vice-Minister Giorgos Amyras emphatically stated that "deer hunting will not be allowed on Rhodes". Instead, special barriers will be installed in the worst affected areas in southern Rhodes. An estimated 5,000 deer, an icon of Rhodes with a deer statue standing where the Colossus once did in the town harbour, are estimated to live on the island. The Rhodes deer is considered native to the Island, the Balkan peninsula and Turkey, with the island being called "Elafousa" (or Deer island) in ancient times, while fossils go back to the neolithic period. Another theory is that it was (re)introduced by the Knights of St. John in the middle ages but a 2006 study found that it is smaller and genetically distinct from other populations and in need of "urgent" conservation and management. In sharp contrast, the Mayor had proposed allowing licensed hunters to cull about 150 deer per annum!