Officials declare southern Big Island clear of axis deer - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Officials declare southern Big Island clear of axis deer

(Image: Hawaii News Now/file) (Image: Hawaii News Now/file)

HILO, Hawaii (AP) - Hawaii officials believe they have successfully removed an invasive deer species from the southern region of Big Island with no confirmed sightings of axis deer in five years.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports an investigation determined that axis deer were introduced to the region eight years ago by three men who ran a sheep-for-deer swap between Hawaii islands in the late 2009. According to the Big Island Invasive Species Committee, the deer cause millions of dollars' worth of damage to crops and landscapes.

Multiple agencies such as the Nature Conservancy and the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park worked to eradicate the deer.

Committee Spokeswoman Franny Brewer says the last axis deer was killed in 2012.

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