Feral deer population growing

Article image - Feral deer population growing Feral deer captured at night by trail cameras.

Tweed Shire Council has joined forces with Lismore and Kyogle councils, and the Tweed and Border Ranges-Richmond Valley Landcare groups, to launch ‘The Northern Rivers is on Feral Deer Alert’ program.

This community awareness campaign aims to prevent feral deer numbers growing out of control in the region, before it’s too late.

The campaign asks the Northern Rivers community to stay on feral deer alert, while they’re out and about, bush walking, driving or managing their property, and to report any feral deer sightings.

Tweed Shire Council’s Feral Deer Management Officer, Rachel Hughes, said feral deer were becoming one of Australia’s worst pest animals, with their populations booming in many parts of the country.

“There are 6 species of introduced feral deer in Australia and they’re all causing significant and widespread problems.

“When you see a deer in the landscape, it can be a novelty at first, but feral deer breed quickly and become very difficult to manage as their populations grow.

“In regions not far from the Northern Rivers, feral deer are causing collisions on roads, reducing the ability of farmers to earn a living and damaging native ecosystems.

“We have an opportunity to prevent this happening in the Northern Rivers but we need to act now.”

A series of community workshops are being held to teach people how to identify and record feral deer and how to control them on their property.

“The Northern Rivers is one of the last areas in New South Wales where feral deer populations haven’t become established, but they are starting to be seen more frequently.

“We’re asking our community to help us prevent feral deer getting out of control by understanding their impact, learning how to identify different species, and reporting all sightings of feral deer as soon as possible using Feral Scan.”

The Feral Deer Alert campaign has been funded by the Australian Government’s Communities Combating Pest and Weed Impacts During Drought Program.