Tackling deer impact

Tackling deer impact

A new three-year deer management trial is underway to help tackle the environmental and land management impacts of deer.

The $500,000 trial is funded by the Victorian Government’s Biodiversity Response Planning initiative and is being led by the East Gippsland Conservation Management Network (EGCMN) in partnership with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), the Gurnaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation, Parks Victoria, Landcare, private landowners, hunting associations and recreational hunting groups.

“The deer management trial will help keep pressure on deer populations in our local area and will help reduce losses in the agricultural crops that we grow,” Wairewa landowner, Matt Zagami, said.

“The main objective for landowners involved in the trail is that the program is carried out safely ensuring residents in the area feel safe with increased shooting in the area.”

The trial area covers approximately 50,000 hectares in the townships of Lake Tyers Beach, Toorloo Arm, Nowa Nowa, Wairewa, Tostaree and the western parts of Lakes Entrance, Bunga Creek and Harrison Track.

“Deer are a land and conservation management issue across Eastern Victoria, causing negative impacts on the natural environment, including threatened species and rainforest,” EGCMN project manager, Tom Crook, said.

“Farmers and other landowners also have growing concerns as deer impact crops, damage fences and disturb soils causing erosion and reducing water quality.

“This three-year trial involves hunters, private and public land managers, traditional owners and community environment groups working together to find and trial solutions to this growing issue.”

DELWP Gippsland natural environment officer, Marc Perri, said: “We are being proactive and finding new ways to manage deer. This trial will help us develop methods to control and monitor deer population changes and environmental impacts”.

“Assistance from accredited and licensed hunters is a critical element in this trial which, for the first time in Victoria, is being coordinated across both public and private land,” Mr Perri said.

“Sambar deer is the target species for deer management on both public and private land in the project area as they account for the vast majority of local deer related problems.”

For further information about the trial contact Tom Crook EGCMN on 0417 557 114 or Marc Perri DELWP on 5161 1222.