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Community input sought on wild deer strategy

Wild deer in gardenNorth Coast Local Land Services is seeking community input into the Draft Hastings Wild Deer Management Strategy which has been released for public comment today.

Wild deer are an emerging pest animal in Australia with the potential for significant primary production and environmental impacts if local populations continue to consolidate and expand. In locations where there are currently high numbers of wild deer the immediate concern is the increase in vehicle collisions and interaction with the community on urban perimeters.

The Strategy has been developed by North Coast Local Land Services in conjunction with the Hastings Wild Deer Working Group to improve the management of wild deer in the Port Macquarie area. Membership of the Hastings Wild Deer Working Group includes local land managers and stakeholders.

The Strategy is based on the experience of the Hastings Wild Deer Working Group and the results of a community survey that the group held in 2015.

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.

Jo McGoldrick, Manager Biosecurity and Emergency Services and Coordinator of the Hastings Wild Deer Working Group said, “It was important to get the community’s input to ensure the information we developed into the Strategy was accurate and relevant.”

Jo continued, “As we anticipated, the main impacts from wild deer were the significant damage to gardens and the traffic hazard to road users.

The focus of the Hastings Wild Deer Management Strategy is to integrate control practices, establish greater coordination of resources, implement new control programs, protect key social and economic assets and evaluate the overall success of a cooperative management program.

A comprehensive set of objectives and actions have been developed to reduce the adverse impacts of wild deer on the local community.

“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.” Jo said.

The Draft Hastings Wild Deer Management Strategy is available online and community members and interested groups are invited to provide their comments and feedback via an online survey at North Coast Open or by mail to North Coast Local Land Services, PO Box 108, Kempsey 2440.  People can also view the Strategy at Port Macquarie Hastings Council.

Media contact:

Jo McGoldrick, Manager Biosecurity and Emergency Services Phone 0407 121 265

Photo captions:

Wild deer have been known to cause damage to gardens and crops.