Feral deer population targeted as scale of eradication program increases

News article |

Almost 3,500 feral deer have been removed from the Limestone Coast in 2022.

Almost 3,500 feral deer have been removed from the Limestone Coast in 2022 as the Limestone Coast Landscape Board (LC Landscape Board) turns its sights to increasing the scale of their eradication efforts with the largest ever control program scheduled for autumn 2023.

In 2022, the LC Landscape Board’s Feral Deer Eradication Program accessed 100 private properties and conservation parks covering over 175,000 hectares. The program utilised aerial culling, ground shooting and Conservation Wildlife Management volunteers.

Reflecting on the largest ever shooting operation undertaken in the region, Mike Stevens, Manager of Landscape Operations for the LC Landscape Board highlighted the scale and intensity of the recent operations.

“In Wattle Range alone over 537 feral deer were culled in a 16-night ground shoot operation, and we understand these numbers are just the tip of the iceberg for plantations in the Wattle Range area. We expect that by using the thermal assisted aerial control methods that this number will increase significantly. “

“Along with signing up forestry plantations in the Wattle Range area we are now calling upon surrounding private landholders to sign up their properties to the program. “

To support the Feral Deer Eradication Program, the LC Landscape Board has announced the appointment of Bart Peters to the role of Project Officer - Feral Deer.

“Bart has over 15 years’ experience working as an Environmental Officer and a Project Officer and brings the skill set needed to increase the scale and intensity of control to achieve eradication.” said Mr. Stevens.

The results from the 2022 Feral Deer Eradication Program have identified new areas of deer incursions which is informing 2023 operations.

“Having landholders sign on to participate in the free shooting programs is key to the program’s success, we strongly recommend anyone with an interest to sign up for regular updates and opportunities for being involved in our various operations,” said Mr. Stevens.

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