Two and a half years of hard work and extensive collaboration came to fruition in August with the launch of Australia’s first National Feral Deer Action Plan at a two-day workshop in Canberra. The plan is the result of broad consultation with state and regional land management departments as well as research, farming, conservation, hunting and pest control sectors, feral deer control programs and communities. The draft plan was supported by more than 1600 written submissions, including 50 organisations. The plan has three key goals underpinned by 22 action items that aim to curb large escalating deer populations, control or eradicate small herds and protect significant sites from impacts.
Minister Watt and Minister Plibersek issued a joint statement announcing the plan’s release. At the launch, Minister Watt provided a recorded message, thanking the working group for their proactive contributions in controlling feral deer and endorsing the plan. The Australian Chief Environmental Biosecurity Officer, Dr Bertie Hennecke also gave a short presentation and congratulated Annelise Wiebkin, the National Deer Management Coordinator, and the working group for their collective efforts in developing the plan. Dr Fiona Fraser, Threatened Species Commissioner spoke about the growing concern for our threatened species and the impact of feral deer on Australia’s ecosystem. Feral deer destroy native habitats by creating large wallows, ring-barking trees, and trampling plants.
An Implementation Committee will now lead the plan’s execution over the next five years with a three-year review scheduled for 2025. Some projects are already underway and government and non-government stakeholders will continue to work together to resource the actions in the plan.
To find out more about the plan and its goals visit: Home - National Feral Deer Action Plan (feraldeerplan.org.au)