David M. Forsyth, Kasey Stamation and Luke Woodford
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. In general, preventing the establishment of ‘new’ populations provides a higher return on investment than eradication, and containment provides a higher return on investment than managing the impacts of widespread species. Understanding the distribution of deer species at various time-steps following their establishment will assist in the delineation of management areas. The Biosecurity Division of the Department of Environment and Primary Industries1 commissioned the Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research (ARIER) to investigate the historical and current wild distributions of deer species in Victoria. The wild distributions of Sambar Deer (Rusa unicolor), Rusa Deer (Rusa timorensis) and Sika Deer (Cervus nippon) in Victoria were described in a previous report (Forsyth et al. 2015). This report describes the wild distributions of Fallow Deer (Dama dama), Red Deer (Cervus elaphus scoticus), Hog Deer (Axis porcinus) and Chital Deer (Axis axis) in Victoria. All of these species can be legally hunted in Victoria (Game Management Authority 2015).