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.
The handbook is divided into three major sections. In the first section profiles of each of the five species of introduced deer either known or presumed to occur in the Australian Alps are presented. These profiles summarise information about the morphology, ecology and reproductive biology of each species. The second section of this handbook examines the potential ecological impacts of introduced deer on fauna and flora, particularly native species. Finally, the third section details ways in which the presence of introduced deer at a site can be inferred, through direct or indirect signs. A list of useful references and website links about aspects of introduced deer biology is also provided for those interested in gaining information beyond that presented here.