Deer are a major, emerging pest problem. They are damaging to the natural environment and to agricultural businesses. The two most abundant species in South Australia are fallow and red deer.
- damage to native vegetation and habitats
- soil erosion and fouling of waterholes
- inhibiting seed production and seedling growth
- economic impact (ie. damage to fences and pastures, reduced livestock productivity due to competition for resources)
- potential source of disease
- potential traffic hazard
- males can be extremely aggressive during breeding season, presenting a threat to humans and other animals.
Fallow deer (Dama dama)
- medium sized deer
- very long tail
- colour of coat can be black, white, grey-brown and light-brown
- Rump patch is white, black or brown bordered, and heart-shaped
- buck has a prominent Adam’s apple
- buck has a brush-like penile sheath
- buck: up to 95cm at shoulder and 90k
- doe: up to 80cm at shoulder and 40kg.
Red deer (Cervus elaphus)
- second largest of Australia’s deer species
- very short tail
- red-brown coat and cream underbelly
- cream rump patch which extends onto back
- U-shaped, multi-pointed, complex antlers
- stag: up to 120cm at shoulder and 135-160kg
- hind: up to 90cm at shoulder and 95kg.
Hog deer (Axis porcinus)
- smallest deer species in Australia (sheep size)
- coat ranges from dark brown to reddish-brown
- upward sloping back to a high rump
- often has uniform light spots from shoulders to rump
- white-tipped tail
- stag: up to 70cm at shoulder and 50kg
- hind: up to 61cm at shoulder and 30kg.
Chital deer (Axis axis)
- reddish to chestnut brown coat with white spots
- striking white upper throat
- long tail
- dark brown/black muzzle
- stag: up to 85cm at shoulder and 80kg
- hind: up to 70cm at shoulder and 40kg.
Rusa deer (Cervus timorensis)
- coarse grey to grey-brown coat with light chest and throat
- line of dark hair runs down the chest and between the forelegs
- very vocal compared to closely-related sambar deer
- long tufts of light hair from inner ears
- stag: up to 110cm at shoulder and 135kg
- hind: up to 95 cm at shoulder and 60kg.
Sambar deer (Cervus unicolor)
- largest of Australia’s deer
- uniform coat, can be light or dark brown, greyish or black
- coat fades to a light buff colour under chin, between forelegs and under body
- prominent bat-like ears, pale on the inside
- stag: up to 130cm at shoulder and over 300kg (about Jersey heifer size)
- hind: up to 115cm at shoulder and 230kg.
Our staff can advise you on:
- the rights and responsibilities of the community regarding the capture and destruction of feral deer
- landholders’ responsibilities regarding the eradication of new feral deer populations on their properties.