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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.

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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

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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.

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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 and thermal-vision equipment. Contract shooters kill sambar deer at a faster rate, but are slightly more expensive per deer killed, than are volunteer shooters.

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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 diets and potential secondary impacts on native prey.

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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 hence their ability to sustain losses from predation, could also be important. We predict that dingoes will have most impact on the abundance of smaller ungulate species and neonates.

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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 with dense vegetation close to roads and high-elevation peatlands.

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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

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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 not individually identifiable, and they should provide useful density estimates under a wide range of conditions that are not amenable to more widely used methods.

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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 active hunters (39%) and efficiency (19% increase in deer harvested per hunting day) being counteracted by the overall number of hunting days decreasing by 12%.

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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 unique genetic variants that could be used to strengthen genetic diversity in populations under threat in the native range. The apparent high levels of gene flow across the areas we sampled suggest that localised control is unlikely to be effective in Australia and New Zealand.

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