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Deer Control Program

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Parks Victoria does not guarantee that this data is without flaw of any kind and therefore disclaims all liability which may arise from you relying upon this information

There are two species of deer that have been noted within Dandenong Ranges National Park and Yellingbo Nature conservation Reserve and one species in Warramate Hills Nature Conservation Reserve.

There is growing evidence that Sambar and Fallow deer are exceeding their carrying capacity and causing environmental damage to habitats in a number of Parks and reserves in the Dandenong Ranges and Yarra Ranges District.

To protect native vegetation and provide some assistance to the local community a permit has been issued by the Department of Environment and Primary Industries to manage Fallow and Sambar Deer over the coming 12 months as part of Parks Victoria’s Deer Control Program.

The control program is supported by the Friends of the Helmeted Honeyeater, Friends of Leadbeaters Possum, Zoos Victoria, the Australian Deer Association and the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia.

Sambar and Fallow Deer are protected under the Wildlife Act and as such are valued by government and hunters as a game species. However, in the context of natural values management and for the purposes of protecting the local indigenous flora and fauna, the numbers of deer need to be reduced.

The intent of this project is to remove deer from critical areas and reduce the numbers of deer in the Dandenong Ranges National Park and Yellingbo and Warramate Hills Nature Conservation Reserves to a manageable level.

The program, through the control of deer, will:

  • Respond to Parks Victoria's bio-security approach to new and emerging threats.
  • Deliver an approved pilot program in accordance with Parks Victoria's 'Deer in Victoria's Parks and Reserves Management Framework (draft)'.
  • Provide an opportunity to pilot a deer culling program in partnership with the Australian Deer Association and Sporting Shooters Association of Australia.
  • Provide critical habitat protection to the flora and fauna values of the areas of proposed operations, while specifically providing protection to three species listed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999.
  • Reduce habitat structure damage and minimise browsing impacts on habitat regeneration and revegetation efforts.
  • Minimise deer numbers (with the objective to remove from critical areas or reduce numbers to a manageable level) to mitigate their actual and potential impacts on EPBC Act and FFG listed species within the Yellingbo Nature Conservation Reserve and the Dandenong Ranges National Park.

Protecting Victoria’s sensitive natural environment, including threatened and non-threatened species, is part of an approved management plan and the brief as determined by the Department of Environment and Primary Industries.

The Deer Control Program is being conducted in partnership with the Australian Deer Association and the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia. Skilled and accredited Australian Deer Association and Sporting Shooters Association Australia Volunteers will be used for the culling and on ground delivery component of the program.  

Further information: Deer Control Program – Questions and Answers.

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