NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York City is acknowledging the growing deer population on Staten Island by installing deer-crossing signs at 21 locations around the borough.

The city Department of Transportation announced the deer signage on Friday.

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“We did go through a process to really figure out where it made sense to place these signs,” Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg told 1010 WINS. “Doing some analysis about where deer have been sighted, where there have been collisions with motorists, near wooded areas, so we’re not just putting them up willy nilly, we’re trying to be pretty scientific about it.”

An aerial survey found 763 deer on Staten Island last year. In 2008, the borough’s deer population was estimated at 24.

Borough President James Oddo said the deer are causing problems including an increase in tick-borne illnesses and ecological damage to wooded areas.

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“Staten Island is one big buffet to these animals,” Oddo said in September. “When you have more than 10 deer per square mile, you will start seeing ecological devastation. When you have more than 15, you start seeing Lyme and tick-borne diseases. We’re at 42 deer per square mile, and that number is probably grossly underestimated.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio said the road signs are the latest step in the city’s efforts to address the deer problem.

“There’s been a lot of discussion and concern about the burgeoning deer population on Staten Island,” Trottenberg said. “There’s been a lot of talk on the city, state and federal level about what are the best ways to tackle the problem…we’d been looking at a lot of approaches and one thing we had heard a lot about was an interest in putting up deer signs to warn motorists.”

De Blasio said the city is awaiting an assessment from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that will include options for managing the deer population.

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