Press-Republican

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June 4, 2014

Experts: Leave new fawns alone

PLATTSBURGH — It’s peak time for the birth of fawns and they should not be disturbed, experts say.

During the first few weeks of life, fawns do not try to evade predators, according the Vermont deer biologist Adam Murkowski. 

Instead, they rely on remaining undetected through camouflage and stillness. 

“During these times fawns are learning critical survival skills from their mothers,” he said in a press release from the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. 

“Bringing a fawn into a human environment results in separation from its mother, and it usually results in a sad ending for the animal.”

FLEDGLING BIRDS

Most fawns are born during the first and second weeks of June, Murkowski said.

Keep your distance, he said, because the mother whitetail is almost always nearby. 

That’s a reminder that Murkowski and wildlife rehabilitators — among them Donna Fletcher of Champlain, Rosemary Maglienti of Plattsburgh and Wendy Hall in Essex County — share every spring, as they often are called about what well-meaning folks believe are orphaned whitetail fawns.

“And baby birds, too,” Maglienti said. 

She has taken numerous calls this spring about fledglings that people think need rescue. And what she tells the caller is that the parent birds feed them on the ground while they’re finding their wings.

“The last resort is to take them in,” she said, noting that most everyone who calls with concern has hung up reassured.

WILDLIFE TIPS

“When people see a small fawn alone, they often mistakenly assume it is helpless, lost or needing to be rescued,” Murkowski said in the release.

He encourages people to resist the urge to assist wildlife in ways that may be harmful and offered these tips: 

• Deer and moose nurse their young at different times during the day and frequently leave their young alone for long periods of time. These animals are not lost, Murkowski says. Their mother knows where they are and will return. 

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