Turn your focus to feral animals as populations rebound

North West Local Land Services are calling on local landholders to act now to minimise their pest animal burden. With improved seasonal conditions, feral populations are re-bounding their densities and distribution across the region.

In April 2020, North West Local Land Services undertook an aerial survey in five areas that have been identified as potential deer hotspots. These areas have had ongoing known deer populations or have had deer sightings reported over the years by local landholders and were first surveyed in late 2019.

The survey in 2020, which was timed to align with the rutting period for fallow deer, again showed a number of deer hotspots across the North West region.

John Busby, Senior Biosecurity Officer said “Given the wet start to 2020, the deer populations have a greater spread, compared to the 2019 survey.”

John added, “This can make control programs tougher and is a great demonstration of why control programs need to be timely and targeted – for example, when water is scarce and feral animals are relying on landholder managed permanent water sources.”

Landholders are encouraged to manage feral deer populations on their holdings and to work with neighbours to manage the problem on a larger scale, before the populations establish and expand beyond levels of potential eradication.

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