Overwhelming response from Wild Deer Community Survey
16 November 2015
The Port Macquarie-Hastings community has provided an overwhelming response to the recent survey conducted by North Coast Local Land Services into local wild deer experiences. The Hastings Wild Deer Working Group will now use the community input to help guide the development of the Hastings Wild Deer Management Strategy.
The community survey was conducted in Port Macquarie during September to gather local knowledge on where wild deer occur and what impacts are being experienced. There were 194 surveys completed with 349 locations identified where wild deer have been sighted.
Numerous suburbs and localities were identified as locations where the community is concerned about wild deer impacts, including: The Point Drive; Lincoln Road; Koala Street; Thrumster; Lake Innes Drive; Lake Cathie; Bonny View Drive and the Pacific Highway "doughnut".
Josh Bean, Land Services Officer for North Coast Local Land Services who is analysing the data said, "We've gained some really useful insights into wild deer in the region including the community sighting wild deer on a daily or weekly basis and usually at night.
"From the data, we have also identified that a local wild deer herd consists of two to five individuals with some larger herds of five to ten wild deer," he said
Jo McGoldrick, Manager Biosecurity and Emergency Services and Chair of the Hastings Wild Deer Working Group said, "As we anticipated, the main impacts from wild deer are the significant damage to gardens and the traffic hazard to road users.
"There are a range of reasons why collectively we need to address the growing wild deer population including reports of wild deer being aggressive to people and pets in the area and the threat that wild deer pose to local koala populations."
Based on this survey, an estimated cost of the damage that wild deer are having on the local community is at least $120,000/year. This survey data will now be used in the development of a Wild Deer Management Strategy with the objective to protect key assets, such as controlling wild deer in proximity to roads and around the highly impacted suburbs.
Detailed survey results and an opportunity to continue the conversation on the wild deer issue are available at http://open.northcoast.lls.nsw.gov.au/.
Josh Bean, Land Services Officer, 6563 6713.
Photo captions:Survey data is mapped showing how many deer have been sighted and how often.