Landholder support for feral deer eradication
Over 60 people from the region attended updates on the Limestone Coast Landscape Board’s (LC Landscape Board) Feral Deer Eradication Program at Penola and Kingston in June highlighting the community interest surrounding feral deer in the Limestone Coast.
“Landholders are at the frontline of the impact of feral deer in the Limestone Coast,” said Limestone Coast Landscape Board General Manager Steve Bourne.
“The increased number of properties participating in the Feral Deer Eradication Program’s shooting operations demonstrates the need and support for feral deer eradication in the Limestone Coast.”
“In some key areas where we are seeing a decrease in feral deer populations. The positive feedback from land managers is rewarding and demonstrates our shooting operations are making a difference.”
The community updates presented the latest results of the Feral Deer Eradication Program including the recent autumn shooting operations along with compliance and enforcement activities undertaken by the board.
“The public meetings have been a great way to speak directly with the community about feral deer in the Limestone Coast and of the Feral Deer Eradication Program itself. We were able to hear from farmers impacted by feral deer on their properties, recreational hunters, deer farmers and community members interested in learning more,” said Mr Bourne.
The Feral Deer Eradication Program has expanded, responding to the release of the feral deer economic analysis commissioned by PIRSA in consultation with landscape boards and Livestock SA in 2022. The report found SA’s feral deer population could explode by more than 500% in the next decade, costing primary producers up to $242 million if business as usual continued.
Reflecting on the effectiveness of the Feral Deer Eradication Program, Mike Stevens Operations Manager for the Limestone Coast Landscape Board highlighted that over 4,000 feral deer have been removed from the Limestone Coast in the last financial year.
“This has only been possible with the support from landholders who have really got behind the eradication effort and work with us to deliver the shooting operations. Our plan is to now focus on additional feral deer hotspots across the region,” he said.
“With the funding from the Australian Government and support from the Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA) we have an opportunity right now in our region, where the feral deer population is not as wide-spread compared to the eastern states, to eradicate them from the region,” Mr Stevens said.
Under the Landscape South Australia Act 2019, landholders are required to eradicate feral deer on their property. The Feral Deer Eradication Program is free to join and provides support, resources and activities that may assist landholders to meet their legislative responsibilities.
“We encourage landholders to sign up their properties to the Program by visiting www.engage.lclandscapesa.com.au/feral-deer-eradication-program and we will be in contact when an operation is in their area,” said Mr Stevens.