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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 a 5-hectare deer exclusion fence to support its recovery and provide long-term protection from introduced deer.

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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.

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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.

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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 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).

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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.

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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 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.

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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, 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.

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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 an important game resource.

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