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Parks Victoria ramping up Alpine Conservation efforts

Wednesday 5 September, 2018

New approach to deer control in the Alpine National Park

As part of its suite of conservation management programs, Parks Victoria will be trialling aerial shooting of deer in the Alpine National Park for the first time in Victoria during October.

Parks Victoria runs dedicated conservation programs across all its parks, designed to protect wildlife and restore habitats. These programs include activities such as monitoring grazer and plant populations, revegetation, weed spraying, controlled burning, and animal control programs. They are crucial to restoring habitat and improving overall landscape health.

As part of this overall approach, Parks Victoria is currently undertaking a 3-year program to trial different deer control techniques in the Alpine National Park. The program will investigate the most efficient, cost-effective and humane methods of managing deer impacts on the alpine landscape.

The trial will occur over a 3-4 day period on weekdays between the 8th and 26th of October, avoiding key visitation periods.  The exact dates will be weather dependent.

The program will be targeting Sambar, Red and Fallow deer in the following locations:

  • Alpine National Park – Mt Pinnibar area
  • Alpine National Park – Mt Feathertop area
  • Mt Buffalo National Park – west of the Mount Buffalo Road (away from the main visitor areas)

These areas will be closed to visitors for the 3-4 days that shooting occurs to ensure the safe implementation of the deer aerial shooting operations.

Parks Victoria will use highly skilled professional shooters to undertake these operations, which are thoroughly planned and carried out under strict conditions, including adhering to the Firearms Act.  Additionally, the operation will ensure safe, effective and humane practices at all times by obeying the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

Parks Victoria advises that no other pest animal species will be targeted as part of this aerial control program.

Quotes, attributed to Parks Victoria Chief Conservation Scientist, Dr Mark Norman

“Parks Victoria has an obligation to protect and conserve the delicate environment of our alpine regions, which are as unique as the Great Barrier Reef and the Amazon Rainforest.”

“Deer are increasingly harming the special wildlife, plants and waterways of Victoria’s high country, as are feral horses and pigs. We have to be proactive in managing deer in the Alpine National Park and need to determine the best, most effective and humane ways of controlling them.”

“This aerial deer shooting operation will provide us with critical information on control methods, as well as greater intelligence in tracking deer populations in remote areas of the park.”

“Parks Victoria has been working collaboratively with the aerial feral animal control team from NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), including our staff flying as observers on NSW programs. We have benefited enormously in learning from the highly successful NSW team and programs.”

Media enquiries
Melanie McVey-Di Lazzaro
0459 818 451

Parks Victoria media centre