Victorian Deer Control Program Implementation Update: 2022-2025

DEECA and Parks Victoria have been active in implementing Victoria’s  $18.25 million Deer Control Program now in its 4th year. Below is an update from DEECA on the program in March 2024.

The Victorian Government’s Deer Control Program was recently approved to fund $5 million towards 13 key on-ground and aerial deer control works and monitoring across the state, with a focus on peri-urban areas and sites of high biodiversity significance identified through Strategic Management Prospects and Regional Deer Control Plan mapping.  These works will be undertaken until June 2025 and will build on the successes from 2022-23 projects (see maps below). They respond to the results of the control and monitoring projects, including addressing new incursions and undertaking surveillance for early detection to prevent new populations from establishing. 
 
During a short period of activity in 2022-23, funded projects delivered ground and aerial deer control across 700,000 hectares statewide.  In that period over 1,500 deer were removed from private and public land in peri-urban Melbourne, including around 800 deer in the Dandenong and Yarra Ranges area.
 
A key action under the Victorian Deer Control Strategy was to complete a statewide deer abundance and distribution survey.  This survey was undertaken across public land over two years, with the report released in October 2023 (see story above).  Whilst the results may surprise some, the priorities for the Deer Control Program have not changed.  Even where they are in low densities, deer are impacting some fragile ecosystems. There will continue to be a focus on managing these impacts to protect biodiversity, agricultural, cultural and water values and reduce the risks of deer on roads.

Parks Victoria has been conducting aerial shooting of deer (and other pest species) in Mt Buffalo, Alpine and Upper Murray parks over February and March to protect biodiversity.

The aerial shooting of deer program will continue as per the details below:
 
Snowy River NP
18-22 March 2024
25-29 March 2024
16-20 September 2024
9-13 December 2024
 
Croajingolong NP
18-22 March 2024
25-29 March 2024
16-20 September 2024
9-13 December 2024

There may be other operations so keep an eye out on the Parks Victoria website.