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 Hastings Feral Deer Management Plan 2020/241MB pdf(PDF, 1MB). Further work is also being undertaken to address this need:
Feral Deer Population Size
Council in partnership with LLS (North Coast Local Land Services) and the Arthur Rylah Institute have conducted a monitoring program examining the likely population size of feral deer within the Port Macquarie area. The results are used to inform the levels of culling that will be required to achieve a significant decrease in the local feral deer population. The study 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. LLS are conducting additional thermal imaging surveys to get an accurate count of size and movement of the feral deer herd.
Disease Prevalence within the Feral 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 feral deer population, with a focus on cattle respiratory diseases as well as diseases potentially transmissible to humans. This study has been completed
Hastings Feral Deer Working Group and Strategy
Council is a key member of the Hastings Feral Deer Working Group and was instrumental to the formation of the Hastings Feral Deer Management Plan 2020/241MB pdf(PDF, 1MB). Council will continue to work with this group to review future updates to this regional strategy.
National Parks and Wildlife are conducting ongoing Feral deer control operations targeting Lake Innes Nature Reserve. The closest road will be Lake Innes Drive and the operations are covered by standard NPWS Shoot and Safety plans.
Council and Local Land Services are also conducting trapping and culling of feral deer in strategic locations aiming to substantially reduce the local population and the impact on our community.
Further updates on actions to be undertaken on Council lands will be provided following discussions with key stakeholders.
This page was last updated on: 13 May 2021