Wild deer affect many different aspects of living in Port Macquarie: they create a traffic hazard on the roads; browse on private and commercial gardens; and reduce the ecological integrity of our bushland with negative impacts on flora and fauna habitat.
Council is progressing the issue of deer control and monitoring as a high priority and outlines future management options in the Draft Biodiversity Strategy. Further work is also being undertaken to address this need:
Research into Deer Population Size
Council has partnered with LLS (North Coast Local Land Services) and researchers from the Arthur Rylah Institute to undertake studies examining the likely population size of deer within the Port Macquarie area. These studies use genetic techniques. The results can inform the levels of culling that would be required to achieve a significant decrease in the local deer population. The studies also look at the relative abundance of different deer species and their movement patterns through the landscape. Such studies can inform whether ‘localised’ control can be effective to decrease populations within a specific area or whether coordinated landscape approaches are fundamental.
Research into Disease Prevalence within the Deer Population
Council has also partnered with LLS and researchers from the Arthur Rylah Institute to undertake studies examining the prevalence of different diseases within the local deer population, with a focus on cattle respiratory diseases as well as diseases potentially transmissible to humans. This is an important step as, if the disease load and prevalence is high, may trigger additional State and Federal funding to achieve much higher levels of eradication than otherwise would have been possible.
Hastings Wild Deer Working Group and Strategy
Council is a key member of the Hastings Wild Deer Working Group and was instrumental to the formation of the Hastings Wild Deer Management Strategy 2016-2018. Council will continue to work with this group to review future updates to this regional strategy.
Deer are not currently listed as a feral animal legally requiring control under the NSW Biosecurity Act 2015. The Hastings Wild Deer Management Group has previously worked to have their status as a ‘game animal’ removed so that control could be undertaken within this area. The Hastings Wild Deer Working Group is similarly looking into the status of deer under the NSW Biosecurity Act 2015.
This page was last updated on: 12 March 2019