Next step in deer monitoring program underway

South East Local Land Services has introduced another tool in their efforts to monitor and understand the behaviour of wild deer on the Far South Coast.

Wild deer will be captured, tranquilised, fitted with a tracking collar and released back into the environment as part of a four-year initiative commencing in early July.

“Wild deer are an emerging issue in environments on the Far South Coast” said Local Land Services Senior Biosecurity Officer Dan Biddulph.

“They present a real threat to many native plant species and apply unwanted grazing pressure to private agricultural land.

“To date we’ve been able to work out some of the points where the deer congregate to feed, but what we don’t have a clear picture of is how they move through the landscape, what paths they use and what other potential control sites they visit.”

The collaring initiative is the next step in the Far South Coast Wild Deer Management Plan. Established by South East Local Land Services with the cooperation of local land managers, the aim of the Plan is to manage the population to prevent further damage to the environment and agricultural assets by improving available control methods.

Previous stages of the Plan have involved collating community reports of deer activity, aerial and ground based surveillance, the testing of remotely activated small and large scale paddock traps, and the use of contractors to conduct ground shooting.

“By attaching these tracking collars to a number of deer we’ll be able to get useful information about their movements which will help us better inform the community about their control options and develop targeted control plans for high risk areas.” Dan said.

Deer collisions and sightings are widely spread from the Victorian Border to Batemans Bay. Management of deer in this region is difficult as many areas are highly populated. There are also a mix of views and values regarding the deer in the community. It is hoped that the data collected via the collars will contribute to the overall community education regarding the impacts of wild deer on native and productive environments.

Sambar deer on the Far South Coast

Photo: Sambar deer on the Far South Coast.

FAST FACTS ABOUT THE COLLARING INITIATIVE:

  • South East Local Land Services will work with land managers between Kiah and Moruya to trap, collar and release fallow and sambar deer and track their movements.
  • The deer will be sedated for the application of the collars. The sedative is not permitted in food producing animals. The community should be aware that any deer with a tracking collar that is shot is not suitable for human consumption.
  • Each collared deer will also be tagged to indicate that it is not fit for human consumption so they can still be identified if the collar falls off.
  • Land managers are encouraged to cull all deer, if you do cull a deer with a collar please return it to South East Local Land Services so it can be re-deployed.

For more information about the Far South Coast Deer Management Plan please contact the biosecurity team at the Bega Local Land Services office on 6491 7800.

ENDS

Media contact: Dave Michael, South East Local Land Services, 0418 513 880

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