NEWS 5 July 2018 |

Deer have largely taken over most of Victoria’s prime natural areas in recent years. Estimates vary, but some say there could be one million deer in the state – possibly increasing at the rate of 200,000-300,000 a year.

They are trashing rainforest areas, mucking up our alpine region, chewing away at rare species in the Grampians – the list goes on. They are also impacting farms and creating havoc on our roads.

The Victorian Government is currently developing a deer management strategy for the state, but so far it appears to have been hijacked by the deer hunting lobby. They claim they can control deer, but though they already have access to millions of hectares of public land, including large areas in national parks, deer numbers are growing well beyond control. If we don’t take radical action, deer have the potential to occupy most of the nation.

The government is being pressured to protect a ‘quality hunting experience’. But hunting is not remotely in danger here. Our great natural heritage, our farms, and our safety on the roads are the things that are threatened.

A draft deer management strategy is due to appear soon, giving the public a chance to respond. It must clearly offer protection for our national parks and reserves, and the many threatened ecological communities across Victoria that are being trashed by deer. The strategy must also call for a broad range of management tools for deer control, and a freeing up of legislation and red tape currently hindering land managers.

More information

Park Watch article ‘Dealing with deer’