Victoria's feral deer population is expanding rapidly and invading new areas.

The Victorian Deer Control Community Network (VDCCN) provides a state-wide forum to share information, experiences and collectively seek solutions to substantially reduce the impact and distribution of feral deer in Victoria.

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Estimated feral deer in Victoria
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Area occupied by feral deer in Victoria (8,471,781 million hectares)
$ 0
Annual average investment in deer control over the last 3 years

$1.5 to 2.1 billion

Estimated cost to the Victorian economy over the next 30 years

Victorian DeeR Control Community Network

Feral deer are emerging as one of Australia’s most serious environmental and agricultural threats. Victoria has possibly the largest deer population in Australia, estimated to be over a million animals. The feral deer population is expanding rapidly and invading new areas.

There are many organisations, institutions, businesses, groups and individuals in Victoria actively involved in feral deer control, research, campaigning or are directly impacted by feral deer. However, other than local networks, there is no statewide forum to share information, experiences and collectively seek solutions.

The Victorian Deer Control Community Network will provide a platform for statewide collaboration over matters related to feral deer.

We are now encouraging people and organisations to join and contribute to the network, the only prerequisite is being interested in reducing the impact of feral deer. To become a member please download and read our Terms of Reference before filling in the application form.

The Invasive Species Council helped form the network and is providing executive officer support as well as website resources for the new community-driven initiative.

Distribution of feral deer in Victoria. Click to enlarge. Map provided by the Arthur Rylah Institute

Deer control information and resources

The VDCCN website contains a resource section that includes:

The resource categories include:

Deer distribution timeline by species- 1922 – 2021.

We know deer were released in Victoria in the 1860’s and small confined populations persisted for decades. This map is based only on formal records of sightings documented since the 1920’s.

Hover over video and click fullscreen to enlarge.

Video provided by Alpine Environmental Science  based on data from the the Arthur Rylah Institute

Become a VDCCN Member

The Victorian Deer Control Community Network (VDCCN) provides a state-wide forum to share information, experiences and collectively seek solutions to substantially reduce the impact and distribution of feral deer in Victoria.

Featured News

Peri Urban Deer Control Plan

DELWP has now released the Peri-urban Deer Control Plan 2021–26 to reduce the impact of deer across the peri-urban region east and north of Melbourne. The partnership group that helped prepare the plan contained a few VDCCN members. The Plan is constructed like a decision support tool to guide investment into on-ground action based on the greatest net benefit across multiple values and land tenure.

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Alps Deer Control Trials

Alpine peatlands are a nationally threatened ecological community (as listed in the EPBC Act). As you can see from the photo below of a sambar deer wallowing in an alpine peatland, feral deer are a serious threat to these sensitive areas (along with feral horses). Imagine the time it will take for this sensitive area to recover from this devastation even if deer were removed now.

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Survey of Landowners in North East Victoria

The Invasive Species Council is surveying people across Victoria to determine their views on the impact of feral deer, targeting landowners in particular. The survey ran recently for North East Victoria and will shortly expand to take in the whole of Victoria. The results will be used to better understand community attitudes about, and the impacts of, feral deer.

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Deer Free Sanctuary for The Prom?

Wilson’s Promontory National Park is a remarkable place; its scenery and biodiversity values are outstanding, however the park is not immune from invasive feral animals such as deer, rabbits, foxes and feral cats. In fact over years “The Prom” has supported large population of around 2000 hog deer.

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Upcoming Events

VDCCN Webinar April 2022

Feral deer typically live and move across a large landscape that may involve several properties. The actions of individual property owners and public land managers to control deer will have limited success unless there is a collective and coordinated approach.

It is now becoming more common for local groups to form and take a collaborative approach to managing the impacts of feral deer in the landscape by raising awareness, working together and learning from each other.

We will hear from a number of people that are in various stages of supporting the formation of local deer control collectives and learn from their experiences.

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VDCCN Webinar February 2022

Parks Victoria trialled feral deer control around alpine and sub-alpine peatlands on the Bogong and Howitt-Wellington High Plains in the Alpine National Park from 2014-2019. The trials are to evaluate the impact of control versus no control and the efficiency of different control methods.

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