Feral deer are a high and increasing risk to motorists as the population grows.
There is no single source that records deer-related vehicle accidents. Evidence from the RACV and Wildlife Victoria suggests that the presence of feral deer in Victoria has resulted in a number of vehicle crashes and accidents. The RACV reports that there were 165 motor vehicle insurance claims related to deer in Victoria from 2014 to 2016. Wildlife Victoria reports 254 deer-vehicle collisions from 2010 to 2018.
Many more would be recorded elsewhere or unrecorded.
Trials have begun on installing roadside deer deterrents to reduce the likelihood of collisions.
Feral deer have invaded peri-urban areas both around Melbourne and rural towns. Feral deer in these peri-urban areas are causing considerable damage to parks and gardens and unease with people recreating in these areas. Bucks can be aggressive and dangerous when rutting. The presence and impact of feral deer on private gardens and urban streets is distressing for the community. The presence of deer in these peri-urban areas may lead to the unsafe use of firearms, with potentially serious consequences.
Protecting Victoria’s community water supply catchments and reservoirs from contamination is critical to maintaining a safe and relatively inexpensive drinking water. The presence of feral deer has the potential to contaminate water with diseases such as cryptosporidiosis, which can cause infection in humans.
Melbourne’s water supply relies on a valuable system of protected water supply catchments. Feral deer have invaded these catchments and are a risk to that high quality water. Should additional treatment be required due to feral deer presence, this would be at considerable cost to the community.
The importance of quality nature-based experiences is increasingly being recognised as contributing significantly to community and personal well-being. To frequently see the impact of an exotic animal such as feral deer in national parks and other natural areas is an anathema to quality nature-based experiences. Not only do feral deer damage the natural environment, they offend the perception of being in a wild natural place of native plants and animals interacting and coexisting. Feral deer do not belong in Victoria’s wild places.