High deer populations and overuse by humans can adversely affect both forest vegetation and the wildlife it supports. The elimination of understory shrubs, seedlings, and wildflowers creates an unnatural woodland of large trees with no understory. Such a woodland may appear to be "natural", with long vistas, but it lacks the diversity of plant life on which wildlife depend for food and shelter.

LVAS installed deer exclosures at Jordan Creek Parkway in Allentown and the Lehigh Gap Nature Center in March 2007. They will reduce disturbance and allow regeneration of the understory in a small part of the forests. Observe how the enclosed area differs from the surrounding areas. Over time, as the understory within has time to regenerate, the vegetation inside the exclosure should become noticeably more diverse in structure and species than that outside.

 

April, 2007: