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 a 5-hectare deer exclusion fence to support its recovery and provide long-term protection from introduced deer.
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 investigated.
A Cape Liptrap resident talks about the impact of fallow deer on their property.
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.
Helicopter-based shooting has been widely used to kill deer in Australasia, but the animal welfare outcomes of this technique have not been evaluated.
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 woody plant species, non-woody growth forms and TECs; and assess whether feral deer increase herbivory in TECs above background rates caused by native herbivores. We surveyed 356 transects across 89 sites representing eight TECs and collected herbivory data for woody and non-woody plants. At each site, we recorded the presence or absence of deer sign and abundance of macropod pellets to account for variations in herbivory between groups of sympatric species. Generalised linear mixed models were developed to predict: (i) proportion of individual plants browsed (or grazed); and (ii) average browsing (or grazing) intensity for woody plant species and non-woody plants. Controlling for macropod abundance, we found the average grazing intensity and proportion of non-woody plants grazed was higher when deer were present compared to absent.
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 being introduced. Côte et al. (2004) reviewed the ecological impacts of deer overabundance globally, finding that through their foraging activities they affect the growth and survival of many herb, shrub and tree plant species, changing patterns of relative abundance and vegetation dynamics. Since they are highly adapted large herbivores with multi-chambered stomachs capable of microbial digestion of cellulose and utilisation of relatively low quality forage, most plant species are at potential risk. In turn, these negative impacts on plants can flow on to other organisms including insects, birds and other mammals. Long-term effects of browsing can include a reduction in vegetation cover as well as a loss in diversity of plant species (Rose and Platt 1987; Stewart et al. 1987; Husheer et al. 2003; Husheer and Frampton 2005; Husheer 2007).
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.
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.
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.
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 common and most likely increasing in abundance. The current handbook, developed in recognition of this emerging issue, aims to be a practical guide for ACT Parks and Conservation, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and Parks Victoria staff involved in management of introduced deer within conservation reserves across the Alps.
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.
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, social and environmental impacts – and some of these impacts are being reported in parts of Australia. However, investment in research and innovation to understand and minimise the negative impacts of wild deer has been ad hoc, with no national coordination. This workshop was held to identify national priorities for research and innovation to improve understanding and management of wild deer impacts in Australia.
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 an important game resource.