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Nevada To Hire Mule Deer Specialist

June 8, 2009.

From the Nevada Division of Wildlife:

Responding to a decline in mule deer numbers, the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) has re-structured positions to create budget for a wildlife staff specialist focused solely on the coveted game species. The mule deer specialist position will be under the Game Division, headquartered in Reno.

"When the Governor hired me, he made it clear that one of his top priorities was for me to address the declining deer population in Nevada,” said Ken Mayer, NDOW’s director. “Thus, since I have been director, I have been assessing the deer situation in Nevada and developing a plan to address this important issue,” he continued.

Working with regional and field biologists, the new staff member will make statewide management and research recommendations based on experience, data acquired in the field, research, and scientific inquiry. Through the Game Chief, the mule deer staff specialist will work closely with the Director’s office and the Commission to develop policy in the area of mule deer management in Nevada and will represent NDOW at regional and local meetings, and at national and international symposia. The mule deer specialist will also provide information to all interested parties, including the public and scientific community.

This new staff member will also relieve some of the demands on the big game staff biologist, taxed with a heavy workload, and will complement that position.

“This position will focus solely on deer management and conservation in Nevada and will work closely with the field staff in NDOW’s three regions to assess the herd status, limiting factors and develop measures to address those limiting factors,” Mayer continued.

“It has been obvious to me from the beginning of my administration that if we were to be successful in developing and implementing an effective approach to address the deer decline, we needed to develop field-based habitat and predator management programs and dynamic herd assessments,” Mayer continued. “As well it is critical that we have a dedicated staff member to lead the effort.”

NDOW created this position by re-allocating resources from a hatchery technician position at Lake Mead. Due to the invasion of quagga mussels in the lake, the Lake Mead Hatchery is currently not cultivating fish. The agency is seeking alternative water sources to operate that hatchery.

NDOW will begin recruitment next week, and Game Chief Mark Atkinson said the agency is looking for applicants with intimate knowledge of mule deer in Nevada.

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