CONTACT: Nancy Rice, Friends of Animals, 203-656-1522 E-mail

“Audubon donors deserve to know that their donations are funding deadly ideas, and Connecticut’s people must insist that the Department of Environmental Protection stop making excuses to kill,” says Nancy Rice of Friends of Animals.

Darien, CT – Friends of Animals will protest in Milford this Friday, outraged at the recent slaughter of 17 deer on Charles Island, off the coast of Milford’s Silver Sands State Park. On February 18 the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) sent three biologists to the island to shoot deer with rifles with silencers.

Before the day’s end all of the island’s 17 resident deer were dead.

The killing met with the approval of the Connecticut Audubon Society, yet the public never had a chance to object (notice came only one day in advance).

Milan Bull, Connecticut Audubon Society’s Senior Director of Science and Conservation, said in a DEP press release: “We support the DEP’s effort to control the deer population on Charles Island in order to protect biodiversity and restore the critical heronry that exists on this 14-acre Natural Area Preserve”

Milan Bull, like the DEP, says the deer are “reducing themselves to a state of starvation.”

“After consulting with experts from the Connecticut Audubon Society, Audubon Connecticut, and the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, DEP is taking a science-based approach to evaluate and address threats to bird species on Charles Island,” said Bill Hyatt, Chief of DEP’s Bureau of Natural Resources.

Dwayne Gardner, speaking on behalf of the DEP, made vague claims about disease as well as eroding nesting habitat for egrets, herons and other birds in The Milford-Orange Bulletin (18 Feb. 2011).

Nancy Rice of Friends of Animals asked, “Why was the flesh donated to food banks if it was diseased? How was there enough flesh if the deer were starving? And who is supposed to believe officials who claim to save animals from dying by killing them?”

It should not be up to the DEP and Audubon to decide who gets to live and die, according to Friends of Animals, headquartered in Connecticut.

“Nature balances animal populations, said Rice. “The notion that birds trump deer isn’t ecologically reasonable.”

Protest Date: Friday March 4, 2011
Location: Intersection Route 1 and Silver Sands Park Way (leads to Silver Sands State Park and Charles Island, off Exit 35 of I95)
Time: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

This begins the management plan on Charles Island, according to a DEP press release, which means more killings will likely take place as other deer seek refuge on the island.

Call to Action:
Please contact the following to object to the deadly management plan:

• Department of Environmental Protection

William Hyatt, DEP Bureau Chief,, 860-424-3487

Dwayne Gardner, Spokesperson

• Connecticut Audubon Society (CAS)
Robert Martinez, President; 203-259-6305 ext. 101,
Milan Bull, Senior Director, Science and Conservation; 203-259-6305 ext. 111

• Audubon Connecticut (CT office National Audubon Society)
Thomas Baptist, Executive Director

• National Audubon Society. Phone: 212-979-3000