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Oh deer, another pest control program?

A Sambar hind. <em>Photo: Doug Read </em>

A Sambar hind. Photo: Doug Read

First it was kangaroos, now the ACT Government is working out whether it needs a control program for deer, as they encroach on the suburbs of Canberra.

The government is doing the first territory study of deer populations due to a growing number of sightings of the introduced species.

The Territory and Municipal Services directorate said sightings were typically in rural areas around the Namadgi and Tidbinbilla nature reserves but there had been anecdotal reports of deer closer to urban areas near Mount Ainslie.

The study comes as protesters continued their bid in the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal on Tuesday to stop a cull of 1455 eastern grey kangaroos.

The cull had been due to start last month until Animal Liberation ACT and the Victorian-based Australian Society for Kangaroos won a temporary stay through the tribunal.

The Minister who oversees the cull, Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury, was attacked by a kangaroo while on a morning run in Ainslie in May.

Parks and Conservation Services director Daniel Iglesias said the ACT had not previously collected data on deer populations and was conducting a six-month study to decide if a control program was needed.

Mr Iglesias said the directorate believed three species – sambar deer, fallow deer and red deer – were present in the territory.

“Before we think about what we need to do about them we need to understand how many we've got and where they are,” he said.

“What we've been finding recently is there's been more and more reports coming through so it might be the distribution is expanding but we don't know for sure.

“We have had anecdotal reports of people seeing them closer into urban areas.

“The latest report we had was someone had seen one near Mt Ainslie.”

Mr Iglesias said the study would map sightings of deer in the ACT over time to determine whether there had been population growth and a shift in where the animals were located.

He said the study would be completed by the end of the year and the directorate was encouraging Canberrans to report any sightings.

“Once we do that we can target a control program – there's no point talking control until we know where they are and how many there are,” he said.

Mr Iglesias said deer were “absolutely” a pest that had the “capacity to destroy the natural environment by what's called wallowing – which is similar to what pigs do.”


  • Here we go again - Parks and conservation (where you need a University degree to pick up dead kangaroos) is being selective about which pests they pursue - if ACT Government really wants to do something usefull how about a serious effort into European wasps - or maybe carp in the rivers - instead of worry about the poor odd deer that wanders around, and for information Fallow deer which are the most common deer do not wallow, Sambar do but are very selective as to where and wallows are very rare.

    Date and time
    July 09, 2013, 1:13PM
    • I agree 100% GTP!

      Date and time
      July 09, 2013, 5:44PM
    • Magnificent! Think of the revenue from hunting licences, tourism and outfitting that would come from a properly managed deer conservation project.

      Fallow are around in good numbers - a special thanks should go to the deer farmers who went bust - but Red and Sambar? I'm sure we would all like to know where these are!

      Outraged of Palmerston
      Date and time
      July 10, 2013, 10:16AM
    • There a Reds in Tantawangalo state forest.

      Date and time
      July 10, 2013, 11:11AM
  • There's no need to kill anything!

    One reason is Canberra is going to become a ghost town if Tony Abbott and his merry men, and Julie Bishop, win the election! Abbott will sack everyone.

    Anyway, I see that both the Liberals and Labor are getting a bit nervous about the Palmer United Party.

    Date and time
    July 09, 2013, 1:16PM
    • Do you know anything about politics ? Abbott will not sack everyone , there is changes already just remember the tax have just foot the bill for all the staff sacked when Rudd returned 5 million I read

      Date and time
      July 09, 2013, 6:04PM
    • Jesus Christ, Sharon. The sky is falling as well!

      Tricky One
      Date and time
      July 10, 2013, 9:13AM
  • If the government wishes to protect andangered ecosystems then stop building. Wildlife have natural habitat that they live within, and when so much building goes on of course they are going to get squeezed into ever smaller spaces. And in case anybody wishes to comment on my location, I did live in the ACT up to 2011.

    Date and time
    July 09, 2013, 1:44PM
    • My husband hit a deer with his car just outside Bungendore a few weeks ago. Made a mess of the car and lucky noone was hurt. Bloody dangerous pest and not native. Definitely should be culled!

      Tarago lover
      Date and time
      July 09, 2013, 1:48PM
      • There are deer around Canberra?!

        Date and time
        July 09, 2013, 1:55PM

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