Point Pelee National Park: Closed Jan 10-25, 2019

by Jennifer Smith January 07, 2019

LEAMINGTON, ONTARIO, January 3, 2019 – As part of a multi-year plan to improve environmental health of Point Pelee National Park, Parks Canada and Caldwell First Nation will be conducting a deer population reduction from January 10 to January 25, 2019. Public safety is, as always, a priority for Parks Canada. As such, Point Pelee National Park will be closed to visitors during this time.

In managing national parks, Parks Canada has a responsibility to maintain or restore ecological integrity. High populations (hyperabundant) of white-tailed deer are a serious threat to forest and savannah health at Point Pelee National Park. Through over-browsing, deer in the park are threatening the Carolinian forest, which is home to many species at risk such as the red-headed woodpecker and the red mulberry tree. Deer are also jeopardizing park efforts to restore the Lake Erie Sandspit Savannah, a globally rare ecosystem that supports 25% of the species at risk in the park. 

Based on over 30 years of research and monitoring, a healthy balanced environment at Point Pelee National Park would ideally support 24 to 32 deer. A series of mild winters with light snow cover and a lack of natural predators such as wolves and bears have allowed the park’s white-tailed deer population to grow to three to four times higher than what can be sustained.

Population reduction is reserved for situations of absolute necessity. The deer population reduction is an important part of the ongoing work to improve the health of Point Pelee National Park, including planting native Carolinian species and removing invasive plants. Throughout Canada, protected areas like Point Pelee National Park have an important role to play in helping to mitigate the impacts of climate change by protecting and restoring healthy, resilient ecosystems and contributing to the recovery of species at risk.

Visitors are asked to contact Point Pelee National Park for more information at or 519-322-2365. For up-to-date information on park closures, please visit the Parks Canada’s website at

Story re-posted from the Government of Canada, Parks Canada. 

Jennifer Smith
Jennifer Smith