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Oct 17, 2016

Is the migrant crisis affecting wildlife migration patterns?

The Hungarian government has said that the animals can adapt well to man-made habitat changes. The statement also noted that deer populations had been growing for decades in Hungary and across Europe, causing crop damage and road accidents

The migrant crisis could be affecting wildlife patterns, it has been reported today.

The razor-wire border fence, aimed at protecting the people, is blocking the natural migratory patterns of thousands of deer and other wild animals, AP reports today.

However, the Hungarian government claims that the animals can adapt well to man-made habitat changes.

Large herds of red deer used to roam freely across the Croatia-Hungary border, but environmental protection activists and hunters in Croatia now warn the numbers have begun declining since the border fence went up last year.

Animal activists have warned that there are long-term implications on the deer population in the protected natural area of Baranya and will affect the population in future.

There is deer habitat on both sides of the border, Hungary and Croatia but a major part of it lies in Hungary. Now that it is fragmented by the border fence, the deer trapped in Croatia cannot access grazing areas or mating partners in Hungary.

The Hungarian government has said that the animals can adapt well to man-made habitat changes. The statement also noted that deer populations had been growing for decades in Hungary and across Europe, causing crop damage and road accidents.

"During the decades of the Iron Curtain, the scarce presence of people and limited human disturbance allowed wildlife to flourish in the border area," the Hungarian government said. It added that if the "illegal presence" of humans could be controlled near the new border fence, accidents suffered by big game would also cease.

The government said the border change was a "temporary phenomenon" that would not affect wildlife genetics.