Report sightings of feral deer
To develop effective programs to reduce the impact of feral deer in Victoria it is vital to know more about where deer are present, which species and their impact. This information contributes to a better understanding of the population and spread and informs the development of control programs. State-wide maps are produced from time to time. An example of the maps can be seen here
The reporting of deer observations is a great example of citizen science contributing to solutions. Anyone can record observations. There are three ways this can be done.
All records eventually contribute to the mapping of observations around Victoria that is carried out periodically by the Arthur Rylah Institute.
Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
The Victorian Biodiversity Atlas (VBA) is a tool for everyone interested in species information across Victoria. People can update and use the information in the atlas to understand what animals and plants there are in the state and where they live, including feral deer.
To add your feral deer species observations to the VBA you first need to register and await your account activation email (which may take up to 3 days). On the site below click on the Victorian Biodiversity Atlas button to go to the sign-up and login page to get started.
The best way to add data is via VBA Go. VBA Go is a website tool (not an app) that links directly to the Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, making it easier to enter and share records of Victoria’s species while out and about, including feral deer.
All the data feeds into the VBA and is used to inform DELWP’s decision support tools, which use a landscape approach to integrate biodiversity information. This will help both inform the actions and target setting as well as help measure the success or otherwise.
DeerScan is a free community resource for monitoring, mapping and managing feral deer, developed by Invasive Species Solutions.
Once registered, recordings can be made on the Deerscan website or by downloading the feralScan App from your App store and choosing Deer from the menu of species.
The system allows you to record sightings, damage and control activities. It also allows for groups to be set up to privately share information.
Further information can be found here:
iNaturalist is a social network of naturalists, citizen scientists, and biologists built on the concept of mapping and sharing observations of biodiversity across the globe.
iNaturalist Australia is a member of the iNaturalist Global Network. Observations are added to the global iNaturalist database and also importantly, shared with the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.
iNaturalist may be accessed via its website or from its mobile applications. You need to sign up and log in to record observations.