The Challenge

Feral deer can have major impacts on the environment as they have the potential to foul waterholes, cause soil erosion, spread weeds, transmit diseases and  destroy the native vegetation through trampling, over grazing and ringbarking young trees. Similar impacts are also seen in the agricultural sector including loss of crops and pastures and damage to horticultural plantings and irrigation infrastructure.  According to a study conducted by the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) deer have doubled their distribution throughout the state since 2009. This is a particular concern for western NSW as deer presence has been continually spreading into new areas and many land owners and managers are unable to identify signs of deer presence, identify the best control techniques, know their required biosecurity duties or how best to contribute to region wide control of this pest.

The Solution

Community education plays a pivotal role in controlling the spread of a variety of pest animal species. Currently there are limited resources for landholders and managers to understand the issues of feral deer. As discussed previously, there is a distinct area of knowledge missing in regards to identifying deer signs, control techniques and the required biosecurity duties. The solution to this is to develop simple easy to understand glove box guides to deer in the western region. These resources will be utilised for school education programs, promotion at community events and can be provided directly to landholders requiring more information about feral deer management.

The Impact

The development of education resources will make a long lasting impact into the future. The power of the deer glove box guide is that are they have been written and designed specifically for a western region audience ensuring that the given information is highly relevant to landholders and managers in the area. This is the first step in the fight against the invasion of deer species in the region. Through education it is hoped that we can achieve greater collective action against the spread of deer in NSW. Even though farmers are pivotal in protecting agricultural assets against the impact of deer, we all have a role in protecting the environment against the impact of deer!

For more information and PDF download please visit: https://landcare.nsw.gov.au/groups/Western_landcare/combating-the-spread-of-deer-in-western-nsw/

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