Large scale and long term action is best for the environment

Wednesday 8 September, 2021

An update on Victoria's biggest deer and feral animal control program

The natural environment across Eastern Victoria is being supported to recover thanks to the re-commencement of a large-scale conservation program.

From September 2021 to June 2022, Parks Victoria will undertake a ground and aerial shooting program targeting deer and feral animals in protected areas, supporting recovery of wildlife and habitats affected by fire. Feral horse control is not part of this program.

The Victoria Government began this coordinated conservation program in February 2020, while fires were still burning, starting the largest and longest coordinated animal control program in Victoria’s history.

Since February 2020, more than 6,000 target animals (deer, feral pigs, feral goats and foxes) have been culled in areas of high conservation value in more than 20 parks – offering greater protection for Victoria’s most precious habitats and wildlife as they try to recover.

The 2019-20 bushfires had a devastating impact on native animals, plants and large areas of habitat in Victoria. Under these conditions, deer and feral animals are a significant threat to survival and recovery as they seriously damage native vegetation and important habitat areas through grazing, browsing, trampling and wallowing.

“Twenty months might seem like a long time but it’s just a blink of an eye for the natural environment recovering from the Black Summer bushfires." says Ryan Incoll, Director of Conservation, Parks Victoria. "We’re proud to help deliver this intensive and sustained program to support the recovery of native species in Victoria’s protected areas.Together with a range of animal and weed control, this coordinated approach to threat management is giving real protection to some of our most special natural environments.”

By continuing to remove threats at a large-scale and over a long period of time, the natural environment is being given a much greater opportunity to thrive and flourish in difficult conditions, without the set-backs and damage caused by deer and feral animals.

For more information about the program, visit Deer in Victoria's Parks.

Please check local park pages for the latest information about closures and conditions in individual parks.

This program is part of a broader threat management approach involving a combination of animal control methods and weed control as part of the Bushfire Biodiversity Response and Recovery initiative, co-led by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and Parks Victoria. This initiative is supported by $51.5 million funding from the Victoria Government and $12.8 million funding from the Commonwealth Government.

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