Tech leaves
feral deer with nowhere to hide

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The Limestone Coast Landscape Board (LC Landscape Board) is commencing an aerial monitoring program to determine the distribution and abundance of feral deer in the region.

The aerial monitoring operation will use thermal-assisted technology and is the next step towards the LC Landscape Board achieving eradication of feral deer in the Limestone Coast.

Supported through funding from the South Australian Government Landscape Priorities Fund, the aerial survey will target areas of native vegetation where feral deer are suspected to shelter.

This includes conservation parks and private native vegetation focused around the localities of Keilira, Taratap, Tilley Swamp, Petherick, Bunbury, Deepwater, Salt Creek, Martin Washpool, Bunbury, Gum Lagoon, and Hanson Scrub.

“While the helicopter will be flying low over these areas during the count, it is important to advise the community that monitoring only of feral deer will be taking place and that every effort will be made to minimise disturbance to farmhouses, working sheds, horse yards and areas containing livestock,” LC Landscape Board Feral Deer Project Officer Aidan Laslett said.

Information collected from the thermal-assisted aerial monitoring will inform the Limestone Coast Landscape Board’s feral deer eradication program and sightings on private land will be reported to the landholders.

“Control programs have been operating for over 15 years but the geographical spread and number of feral deer appears to be increasing,” LC Landscape Board General Manager Steve Bourne said.

“This monitoring program using innovative technology will provide a greater understanding of the numbers of feral deer in the landscape and the scale of effort required with future programs.

“The LC Landscape Board is committed to supporting landholders to eradicate feral deer on their properties and the thermal-assisted aerial monitoring is a key component of our overall feral deer eradication program.”

Feral deer compete with livestock for pasture, damage infrastructure such as fences and have the potential to spread disease.

“By working together, we can reduce the impact of feral deer on the region’s agricultural bottom line and environment,” Mr Bourne said.

Under the Landscape South Australia Act 2019 (the Act) feral deer are a declared pest, and landholders are responsible for the eradication of feral deer on their properties.

The Act includes separate declarations for domestic (farmed) and feral deer.

Visit www.landscape.sa.gov.au/lc for more information on feral deer control programs in the Limestone Coast.

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