Gov. David Ige has issued a second emergency proclamation to help Maui County address its increasingly dire deer problem.

Ige’s proclamation on Monday will last until July 22 and is in reaction to the tens of thousands of invasive axis deer eating crops and destroying important natural resources throughout Maui County.

The first emergency proclamation was announced in late March and lapsed on Friday.

Deer can be found all over Maui County, including Molokai, where many have died of hunger and thirst because of overpopulation and drought. Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat/2022

The emergency relief period’s extension lifts several legal provisions to allow the county and state to continue investing in measures to control the deer population.

Deer have become an increasingly visible issue on Maui and Molokai, as severe drought has forced them to impinge into more agricultural and developed areas as they seek food and water.

Safety concerns were heightened at the beginning of this year, after deer were found blocking the runway at the Maui airport.

As the animals are currently under the stress of thirst and hunger, concern has also been raised about the threat of the animals’ carcasses contaminating the ocean and streams.

Drought led to a mass die-off in western Molokai early last year, after thousands of the island’s deer starved to death.

The most common measures for controlling axis deer — introduced to Hawaii from South Asia in 1868 — are corralling and killing the deer, building or repairing fences and clearing vegetation from fence lines.

Quality journalism takes time.

A story that takes fives minutes to read often takes days to report.
 
Quality journalism takes time and resources to produce, but with support from readers like you, Civil Beat can investigate issues and publish stories that are otherwise difficult to fund.
 
Become a donor and help support Civil Beat’s next investigation.

About the Author