Eradication next step for region's feral deer control

News article |

Achieving eradication of feral deer is a key objective for the Limestone Coast Landscape Board as part of its hard-line stance on the declared pest species.

The region’s feral deer population has been reduced through successful implementation of the LC Landscape Board’s control programs and farmed deer compliance operations but much more work remains to be done.

Reaffirming the LC Landscape Board’s strong approach, General Manager Steve Bourne said the Board’s initial phase is to work closely with participating landholders to achieve property scale eradication.

“We are now working to ensure the community are aware of the devastation caused by feral deer on our landscape, in particular to the agricultural industry and the region’s biodiversity,” Mr Bourne said.

“Feral deer significantly reduce productivity on farms as they compete with livestock for pasture, damage infrastructure such as fences and have the potential to spread disease,” he said.

“As little as nine red stags on a property is the same as 387 rabbits and reduces the grazing capacity of that property by over 30 sheep. “Not only do feral deer impact the agricultural bottom line and environment, they also attract illegal hunting and create public safety hazards on our roads.”

The LC Landscape Board recently hosted a dinner at Kingston for landholders participating in feral deer control programs.

LC Landscape Board Feral Deer Project Officer Aidan Laslett and Department of Primary Industries and Regions SA National Deer Management Coordinator Dr Annelise Wiebkin both spoke at the November 19 event, providing insight into the scope of feral deer control programs in the region and updates on trials of new thermal-assisted aerial control (TAAC) technology. Mr Laslett praised participating landholders for their involvement.

“Through working together we are achieving intensive feral deer control at the largest possible scale, resulting in significant inroads to achieving eradication and protecting our region from feral deer impacts,” Mr Laslett said.

Managing feral deer populations is best achieved by involving all land managers in the local area as feral deer will wander across adjoining properties.

The Limestone Coast Landscape Board is seeking to increase the number of properties involved in the control programs and landholders looking to participate are urged to contact Aidan Laslett.

“We are here to help and the LC Landscape Board is committed to supporting landholders to eradicate feral deer on their properties. We need more enthusiastic landholders to participate in our control programs and I encourage people to contact me,” Mr Laslett said.

The LC Landscape Board uses a variety of feral deer control methods including aerial and ground shooting, commercial harvesting and supporting partnerships to trial new technology.

Each program takes into account local terrain and individual landholder circumstances to ensure high standards of effectiveness are achieved. Under the Landscape South Australia Act 2019 (the Act) feral deer are a declared pest, and landholders are responsible for the eradication of feral deer on their properties.

The Act includes separate declarations for domestic (farmed) and feral deer.

Pictured. Department of Primary Industries and Regions SA National Deer Management Coordinator Dr Annelise Wiebkin speaks with landholders involved in feral deer control at a recent dinner hosted by the Limestone Coast Landscape Board.

Eradication next step for region's feral deer control

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