Information and Resources

Victorian Deer Control Resources

Resource categories:

  • All
  • distribution
  • impacts
  • monitoring
  • plans and strategies
  • population dynamics
  • species information
  • tools and methods
All
  • All
  • distribution
  • impacts
  • monitoring
  • plans and strategies
  • population dynamics
  • species information
  • tools and methods

2016 National Wild Deer Management Workshop Proceedings

Six introduced deer species occur in the wild in Australia, with all states and territories having at least one species present. In comparison to other introduced ungulates in Australia the impacts of wild deer have not been well documented. Globally, wild deer can have a wide variety of negative economic, ...
Read More

2016 Operations Workshop: Deer & other Ungulates

In early November 2016, around 40 participants gathered at Howman’s Gap Alpine Centre for the biennial Australian Alps Operations workshop. This report includes the workshop highlights and discussion points
Read More

A Before – After Control-Impact experiment reveals that culling reduces the impacts of invasive deer on endangered peatlands.

Authors Sebastien Comte, Andrew J. Bengsen, Elaine Thomas, Ami Bennett,Naomi E. Davis, Daniel Brown, David M. Forsyth. Summary Invasive deer have undesirable impacts on native ecosystems. Culling is commonly used to reduce those impacts, but is expensive and sometimes controversial. It is therefore important to robustly assess how culling reduces ...
Read More

A field method for rapidly assessing deer density and impacts in forested ecosystems

Overabundant deer populations can cause severe ecological impacts. To inform management decisions and assess the effectiveness of mitigation strategies, land managers require a rapid and cost-effective method for collecting data on both deer density and impacts.
Read More

A Framework for Developing a Community-based Deer Management Program

This Framework, which is based on the experience and knowledge gained through the Harrietville Living with Deer project, is for use by land managers and communities wanting to develop a community response to deer impacts in a Victorian community.
Read More

A monitoring protocol for assessing changes in deer relative abundance and deer impacts at Lake Tyers, Victoria, Part 1 – Rationale

The objective of this report is to develop an experimental design and field monitoring method to assess the effectiveness of the landscape-scale Deer Control Program in reducing the impacts of sambar on native vegetation in the Lake Tyers area.
Read More

A monitoring protocol for assessing changes in deer relative abundance and deer impacts at Lake Tyers, Victoria, Part 2:

This document is Part 2 of the monitoring protocol. It describes the equipment required and how to prepare, set up and conduct the monitoring surveys.
Read More

A pilot study examining the ecological and human dimensions of wild deer management, Nariel Valley Victoria

This study explored the ecological and sociological aspects of wild deer management in the Nariel Valley, establishing preliminary data on wild deer abundance and ecological damage. In addition the study examined landholder attitudes toward wild deer to determine some of the factors that might influence people’s attitudes, and the implications ...
Read More

A systematic review of the impacts and management of introduced deer (family Cervidae) in Australia

Authors Naomi E. Davis, Ami Bennett, David M. Forsyth, David M. J. S. Bowman, Edward C. Lefroy, Samuel W. Wood, Andrew P. Woolnough, Peter West, Jordan O. Hampton and Christopher N. Johnson Abstract Deer are among the world’s most successful invasive mammals and can have substantial deleterious impacts on natural ...
Read More

Abundance and population genetics of Hog Deer (Axis porcinus) in Victoria

This study aimed to estimate the abundance and distribution of Hog Deer across their range as well as investigate the genetics of the Hog Deer population to examine genetic diversity, population structure and connectivity between local populations as well as effective population size.
Read More

Abundance of deer in Victoria: Regional and statewide estimates of deer density and their impact on vegetation

This report summarises the monitoring data collected to estimate statewide and regional deer distribution and abundance, as well as impacts on ecosystem health.
Read More

Agricultural impacts of wild deer in Victoria

The Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) commissioned the Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research to evaluate the agricultural impacts of deer in Victoria.
Read More

Animal welfare outcomes of helicopter-based shooting of deer in Australia

Helicopter-based shooting has been widely used to kill deer in Australasia, but the animal welfare outcomes of this technique have not been evaluated.
Read More

Cardinia Creek Catchment Thermal Surveys Report

Author Tarnya Cox, Research Scientist Department of Primary Industries, Vertebrate Pest Research Unit Summary A thermal survey of Cardinia Creek Catchment was undertaken from 3-4 July 2021. Deer were recorded on 28 of the 35 transects flown during the survey. There were 78 observations of deer (largest group size = ...
Read More

Collective Impact in Australia

The rapid adoption of collective impact in Australia and overseas is testament to the fact that current responses to the complex issues of contemporary families and communities are inadequate, and that a holistic and coordinated response resonates with practitioners in the social services sector.
Read More

Combining citizen science and recreational hunters to monitor exotic ungulates and native wildlife in a protected area of north eastern Argentina

A systematic management program of exotic wild boar (Sus scrofa) and axis deer (Axis axis) in a protected area of north eastern Argentina (El Palmar National Park) provided a framework for implementing a wildlife monitoring system based on park-affiliated hunters.
Read More

Cost-effectiveness of volunteer and contract ground-based shooting of sambar deer in Australia

The catch per unit effort of contract shooters was four times greater than that of volunteer shooters. After accounting for key operational costs, the cost per deer killed was 10.1% higher for contract than volunteer shooters. The effectiveness of ground-based shooters is increased by operating at night using vehicles, spotlights ...
Read More

Counting the doe; feral deer could cost Victoria over $2 billion

A new independent report from Frontier Economics warns that not controlling the impacts of feral deer in Victoria could cost the community between $1.5 billion and $2.2 billion over the next 30 years.
Read More

Deer exclusion fencing

In this video, the Upper Murray Landcare Network presents some examples of fencing methods used in that area to protect your assets from the impact of feral deer.
Read More

Deer Identification Guide

Authors Cumberland Land Conservancy, Landcare NSW, Greater Sydney Landcare Network, Local Land Services and Department of Primary Industries Summary A pictorial guide to identifying deer species and recording deer presence.
Read More

Distributions of Fallow Deer, Red Deer, Hog Deer and Chital Deer in Victoria

Introduced deer species can have negative impacts on agricultural and environmental values. There is concern that deer species are expanding their Victorian distributions through natural and human-assisted dispersal, increasing the biosecurity risk to Victoria. Understanding the current distributions of deer species in Victoria will help inform their management, including as ...
Read More

Distributions of Sambar Deer, Rusa Deer and Sika Deer in Victoria

Introduced deer species are important game animals in Victoria, but in some situations they can have negative impacts on agricultural and environmental values. There is concern that deer species are expanding their Victorian distributions through natural and human-assisted dispersal. Understanding the current distributions of deer species in Victoria will help ...
Read More

East Victoria Deer Control Plan 2023-2028

The purpose of the Plan is to guide deer control and management actions in eastern Victoria from 2023-2028 by identifying priority areas to prevent or minimise the impact of deer on our environmental, cultural, social, and economic values.
Read More

Ecological and Agricultural Impacts of Introduced Deer across the Australian Alps

Deer are among the most introduced of all large mammals around the world (Lever 1985). This is certainly the case in the southern hemisphere, including Australia and New Zealand (Moriarty 2004a). In both countries, a number of species of deer have increased massively in abundance, as well as distribution, since ...
Read More

Economic contribution of recreational hunting in Victoria

This report presents the results of research into the economic, health and wellbeing benefits of recreational hunting by Victorian game licence holders. The scope of the project is limited to expenditure on recreational hunting in Victoria by game licence holders and the resulting flow on economic contribution. This study is ...
Read More

Effects of the Black Saturday fires on Sambar Deer occupancy and abundance

‘Reduction in biodiversity of native vegetation by Sambar Deer (Cervus unicolor)’ has been listed as a threatening process under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988, and there is concern that native vegetation may be vulnerable to impacts of Sambar Deer immediately post-fire. However, little is known about the impacts ...
Read More

Emergency Response Aerial Shooting Operation – Summary Report

Aerial shooting from helicopters as an emergency response operation is a highly effective and efficient way to manage introduced animals for the benefit to biodiversity, especially where there is good visibility and in inaccessible or remote terrain. The open canopy, loss of understorey and the congregation of animals around scarce ...
Read More

Estimates of Harvest for Deer, Duck and Quail in Victoria: Results from Surveys of Victorian Game Licence Holders in 2013

A telephone survey of Victorian hunters was conducted during the 2013 hunting seasons for deer, duck and quail to determine the total harvest for each game type. Game licence holders for each game type (deer, duck and quail) were randomly sampled and interviewed by telephone at intervals during the respective ...
Read More

Estimates of maximum annual population growth rates of mammals and their application in wildlife management

In many situations where rm cannot be estimated in the field, or demographic data other than age at first reproduction is lacking, our approach provides an estimate of rm that can be used in population and management models, perhaps most importantly to estimate the proportion of a population that if ...
Read More

Estimates of the 2020 deer harvest in Victoria

To effectively manage game species, it is important to quantify the numbers harvested. To ascertain levels of deer harvested, since 2009, Victorian State Government game management agencies have commissioned a series of regular telephone surveys of randomly selected Game Licence holders endorsed to hunt deer during the game hunting season. ...
Read More

Estimates of the 2022 deer harvest in Victoria

The total estimated deer harvest in 2022 was 123,376 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 98,177-155,042), 49% above the average since 2009 (82,802) but similar to 2018 (121,567) and 2021 (118,874). The similarity in overall annual deer harvest compared to 2021 can be explained by an increase in the proportion of ...
Read More

Estimating deer densities and their impact on vegetation in the Cardinia Shire

Overall, this report shows that transect surveys can be a valuable and economic assessment tool. However, it should be integrated with more sophisticated methods over longer time spans to provide a more complete picture of deer presence in the area.
Read More

Estimating deer density and abundance using spatial mark–resight models with camera trap data

Twelve surveys provided sufficient data for analysis and seven produced density estimates with coefficients of variation (CVs) ≤ 0.25. Estimated densities ranged from 0.3 to 24.6 deer km−2Camera trap surveys and SMR models provided a powerful and flexible approach for estimating deer densities in populations in which many detections were ...
Read More

Evaluation of an exclusion plot design for determining the impacts of native and exotic herbivores on forest understoreys

Cervus unicolor (sambar) were introduced to Australia in the 1860s (Bentley 1998) and have since expanded their range throughout eastern Victoria and more recently into New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory (Moriarty 2004). They are a large deer; mature hinds weigh 130–150 kg and stand up to 1150 ...
Read More

Forensic and Population Genetic Analysis of Introduced and Endangered Hog Deer(Axis porcinus)

Genetic analysis of the Victorian population provides an effective tool to ensure management of hog deer addresses questions surrounding effective population control, game management, and conservation considerations.
Read More

Functional responses of an apex predator and a mesopredator to an invading ungulate: Dingoes, red foxes and sambar deer in south-east Australia

Biological invasions by large herbivores involve the establishment of novel interactions with the receiving mammalian carnivore community, but understanding these interactions is difficult due to the large spatiotemporal scales at which such dynamics would occur.
Read More

Glovebox guide to managing feral deer

Authors Centre for Invasive Species Solutions. David Forsyth, Sebastien Comte, Andrew Bengsen, Jordan Hampton, Tony Pople. Summary This Glovebox Guide to Managing Feral Deer is a practical resource designed to assist Australian land managers (farmers, public land managers and Indigenous groups) to manage the impacts of feral deer. A large ...
Read More

Guide to Monitoring Methods

Monitoring can be done in different ways. This guide lists common monitoring tools available to assist in deer control work.
Read More

Habitat suitability and movement modelling for an increasing population of wild deer in Wollongong, NSW

To address the needs of pest managers within the Wollongong region, this thesis aimed to predict the distribution of potentially suitable habitat, and movement corridors through modelling as well as estimate the relative population density
Read More

Impact of feral deer to the environment – Cape Liptrap

A Cape Liptrap resident talks about the impact of fallow deer on their property.
Read More

Interactions between dingoes and introduced wild ungulates: concepts, evidence and knowledge gaps

We propose that interactions between dingoes and introduced wild ungulates depend on the sex–age classes vulnerable to dingo predation, dingo pack sizes, the availability of escape terrain for ungulates and the availability of alternative foods for dingoes. The interplay between environmental conditions and the population growth rate of ungulates, and ...
Read More

Interspecific variation in the diet of a native apex predator and invasive mesopredator in an alpine ecosystem

Our results suggest that the introduction of novel prey may alter predator–predator interactions by causing a reduction in the dietary overlap. Therefore, in the context of integrated wildlife management and biodiversity conservation, any control of novel, invasive prey populations needs to consider possible flow on effects to apex- and meso-predator ...
Read More

Introduced deer and their potential role in disease transmission to livestock in Australia

Authors Jemma K. CRIPPS, Carlo PACIONI, Michael P. SCROGGIE, Andrew P. WOOLNOUGH, David S. L. RAMSEY. Summary The transmission of pathogens between wildlife and livestock is a globally recognised threat to the livestock industry, as well as to human and wildlife health. Wild cervids are susceptible to many diseases affecting ...
Read More

Introduced Deer Field Identification Guide for the Australian Alps

Introduced deer are recognised as a major and widespread component of the Australian biota and have an unknown but potentially large impact on the landscapes they now inhabit (Moriarty 2004; Van Dyk and Strahan 2008). This is certainly the case in the Australian Alps, where several species of deer are ...
Read More

Methodology matters when estimating deer abundance: a global systematic review and recommendations for improvements

Deer (Cervidae) are key components of many ecosystems and estimating deer abundance or density is important to understanding these roles. Many field methods have been used to estimate deer abundance and density, but the factors determining where, when, and why a method was used, and its usefulness, have not been ...
Read More

National Feral Deer Action Plan 2023–28

Feral deer are a growing threat to Australia’s primary industries, natural environments and community values. Feral deer populations are increasing and spreading across Australia and are projected to cover much of the continent.
Read More

Origins and population genetics of sambar deer (Cervus unicolor) introduced to Australia and New Zealand

The lack of population genetic structure that we found within introduced populations suggests that individuals within these populations do not experience barriers to dispersal across the areas sampled. Although genetic diversity is reduced in the introduced range compared with the native range, sambar deer in Australia and New Zealand harbour ...
Read More

Peri-urban Deer Control Plan 2021–26

Peri-urban Deer Control Plan 2021–26 (the Plan) is Victoria’s plan to reduce the impact of deer across the peri-urban region east and north of Melbourne.
Read More

Pest Animal and Weed Management Survey 2016–19

This report presents the key results from a national survey of agricultural land managers about pest and weed management on their property and local area undertaken by ABARES in 2016 and 2019. A total of 6,470 land managers participated in 2016 and a slightly larger group of 8,059 participated in ...
Read More

Pheasant Creek Deer Exclusion Fencing

This small patch of native habitat within the Pheasant Creek Flora Reserve is home to the critically endangered Shelley (or Summer) Leek-orchid and over 40 other threatened species. After a fire went through the reserve last summer, DELWP and Parks Victoria in conjunction with the Upper Murray landcare Network, constructed ...
Read More

Predicting deer–vehicle collision risk across Victoria, Australia

The risk of deer–vehicle collisions (DVCs) is increasing in south-east Australia as populations of introduced deer expand rapidly. There are no investigations of the spatial and temporal patterns of DVC or predictions of where such collisions are most likely to occur.
Read More

Quantifying variations in browsing pressure caused by feral deer for a range of threatened ecological communities and plant growth forms

Globally, high-density populations of feral deer have been associated with a range of negative ecological consequences. Within Australia, limited quantitative research has assessed the impacts of deer, particularly in threatened ecological communities (TECs). Our study aimed to quantify the impact of feral deer on the herbivory of a range of ...
Read More

Recording feral deer presence at Cape Liptrap

In this video, landowners in the Cape Liptrap area describe the impact of feral deer on their properties and why they believe recording deer presence is important. There is then a presentation of how to use the Deer Scan app.
Read More

Reproductive seasonality and rate of increase of wild sambar deer (Rusa unicolor) in a new environment, Victoria, Australia

Sambar (Rusa unicolor) are the most numerous and rapidly expanding of Australia's six introduced deer species, however, there is little information about the reproductive biology of sambar deer in their natural habitat. To better predict and manage wild sambar populations in Australia it is important to understand their reproductive seasonality ...
Read More

Seasonal and daily activity of non-native sambar deer in and around high-elevation peatlands, south-eastern Australia

Control operations targeting sambar deer at high elevations in south-eastern Australia should be conducted during October–June. Outside this period sambar deer appear to use lower-elevation habitats. The effectiveness of ground-based shooting could be improved by focusing this control action around sunset (when sambar deer are most active) and in places ...
Read More

Serosurveillance and Molecular Investigation of Wild Deer in Australia Reveals Seroprevalence of Pestivirus Infection

The aim of this study was to assess blood samples from wild Australian deer for serological evidence of exposure to relevant viral livestock diseases. . Our findings demonstrated a very low seroprevalence (3%) for ruminant Pestivirus, and none of the other viruses tested were detected. These results suggest that wild ...
Read More

Spatial and temporal variation in the diet of introduced sambar deer (Cervus unicolor) in an alpine landscape

Our results emphasise the need for careful evaluation of sambar deer impacts within individual sites and at small spatial scales. The detection of species of conservation significance in the diet indicates that the presence of sambar deer should be considered a significant risk to biodiversity in areas of high conservation ...
Read More

Tasmanian Wild Fallow Deer Management Plan 2022-27

The purpose of the Tasmanian Wild Fallow Deer Management Plan is to set clear goals and management objectives for wild fallow deer in Tasmania over the next five years. In doing so, the Plan provides a summary of the current management context.
Read More

The Dietary Impacts of Sambar Deer (Rusa unicolor) in Native Ecosystems of South-Eastern Australia

Author Matthew Quin B.Sc. (Wildlife and Conservation Biology)A thesis submitted in total fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science by Research Summary The introduction and establishment of non-native species into novel ecosystems can cause significant ecological and economic harm. Native to the tropical environments of India, ...
Read More

The Victoria Naturalist – The Pest Issue – December 2020

Jordan O Hampton and Naomi E Davis provide a brief review of these impacts in Victoria and show that they are widespread across the state. While the existing evidence is limited, this is an active field of research, and comparative and experimental studies will help to address knowledge gaps and ...
Read More

Thermal aerial culling for the control of vertebrate pest populations

Authors Tarnya E. Cox , David Paine , Emma O’Dwyer‑Hall , Robert Matthews , Tony Blumson , Brenton Florance , Kate Fielder , Myall Tarran , Matt Korcz , Annelise Wiebkin , Peter W. Hamnett , Corey J. A. Bradshaw  & Brad Page. Summary Helicopter-based shooting is an effective management ...
Read More

Using Exclusion Fencing to Manage Feral Deer Impacts in Australia

Author David M Forsyth Centre for Invasive Species Solutions Summary Exclusion fencing is widely used in Australia to manage the undesirable impacts of medium-sized to large-sized mammals, including wild dogs, feral pigs and macropods. The method has high social acceptability. Fencing has been widely used to manage the impacts of ...
Read More

Victorian Deer Control Program Grant Funding and Strategy Implementation: 2022 2023

Authors Michelle Hanslow Department of Environment, Energy and Climate Adaption. Summary This is a presentation on the funding and progress of the Victorian Deer Control Program along with previous more recent investments in deer control in Victoria with maps showing where programs have been, and are being, implemented.
Read More

Victorian Deer Control Strategy

Author Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning Summary The strategy has been developed under both Protecting Victoria’s Environment – Biodiversity 2037 (Biodiversity 2037) and the Sustainable Hunting Action Plan 2016–2020. It responds to the recommendations of a Parliamentary Inquiry and is consistent with Victoria’s Invasive Plants and Animals Policy ...
Read More

West Victoria Deer Control Plan 2023-2028

The purpose of the Plan is to guide deer control and management actions in western Victoria from 2023-2028 by identifying priority areas to prevent or minimise the impact of deer on our environmental, cultural, social, and economic values
Read More

Widespread hybridization in the introduced hog deer population of Victoria, Australia, and its implications for conservation

Three mitochondrial markers and two nuclear markers were sequenced to assess the genetic variation of the Victorian population of hog deer, which identified that the Victorian population has hybrid origins with the closely related chital (Axis axis), a species that is no longer present in the wild in Victoria.This study ...
Read More

Widespread hybridization in the introduced hog deer population of Victoria, Australia, and its implications for conservation

In Australia, many species have been introduced that have since undergone drastic declines in their native range. One species of note is the hog deer (Axis porcinus) which was introduced in the 1860s to Victoria, Australia, and has since become endangered in its native range throughout South-East Asia. There is ...
Read More