Feral deer impact natural environments by eating, ringbarking, rubbing against and trampling native plants and creating wallows. This habitat destruction can have flow on effects to other fauna that are sustained by healthy habitats. Feral deer also compete for food with native herbivores such as kangaroos and wallabies.

Feral deer impact agricultural production by eating pasture, crops and forestry saplings and damaging fences and infrastructure. They can also carry diseases and parasites that can be transmitted to livestock.

Feral deer impact Australians in peri-urban areas (the areas between rural and urban landscapes) where they can cause vehicle collisions and damage to parks, gardens and revegetation plantings. Males can be aggressive to people and domestic animals during deer mating seasons and feral deer are also a potential reservoir for human disease (e.g. COVID19).

Feral deer on private property may also attract illegal poaching, resulting in trespassing, illegal use of firearms and damage to properties. Feral deer also damage Traditional Owners’ cultural sites through loss and fragmentation of valued living landscapes, scar and signal trees and loss of culturally important trees such as Kurrajong.

To learn more, you can:

  • download the Annual Costs of Feral Deer in Australia (2023) report
  • read about the six species of deer (family Cervidae) in Australia – fallow (Cervus [Dama] dama), red or wapiti (Cervus elaphus); hog (Cervus [Axis] porcinus); chital, axis or spotted deer (Cervus [Axis] axis); Timor or rusa (Cervus timorensis) and sambar (Cervus unicolor) – under ‘Plan’
  • view resources and publications about feral deer in our Resources section
  • watch this Meet the Ferals episode for insights into the problem of feral deer in Australia
  • view a sample of our videos below and find a comprehensive selection of conference, forum, presentation and how-to videos on our YouTube channel.
6 videos found
Ground shooting to control feral deer
Ground shooting to control feral deer
Aerial shooting to control feral deer
Aerial shooting to control feral deer
Exclusion fencing to keep feral deer out
Exclusion fencing to keep feral deer out
Feral deer aggregator
Feral deer aggregator
Drone pilots gaining the high ground in the fight against feral pests | Landline
Drone pilots gaining the high ground in the fight against feral pests | Landline
Trapping feral deer
Trapping feral deer

DeerScan enables you to record new (and historical) observations of deer in your local area:

Deer

DeerScan is a free resource for landholders, landcare groups, community groups, local Councils, professional pest controllers and biosecurity groups. It has been designed to map and monitor deer in your local area by:

  1. Mapping sightings and evidence (e.g. photos & prints)
  2. Reporting damage (e.g. browsing of trees)
  3. Documenting control activities (e.g. ground shooting)

FeralScan is committed to protecting users’ data, location and information, with all DeerScan information managed securely and discreetly as described in our privacy policy. Exact locations of sightings, damage reports or control activities will not be visible to the public.

You can access DeerScan via www.deerscan.org.au or download the ‘FeralScan’ App and follow the deer prompts.

Click to open App Store Click to open Google play

 

How to record:
  1. Register your name, or simply record data using your email address.
  2. Record where you have seen feral/wild deer, evidence, damage, and control actions.
  3. Submit your record and view it on the website.
  4. View other sightings in your local area.

Want a quick and easy digest of management information for feral deer? Click on the thumbnail image below to download and print our glovebox guide free of charge. Use our order form for larger quantities, which can also feature your organisation’s logo. Please note that printing and postage charges will apply to most orders.

Order Glovebox Guides for Managing Feral Deer

The National Feral Deer Action Plan is focused on supporting farmers, communities, organisations and government agencies to stop the spread and impacts of feral deer.

The final plan was released in August 2023 and aims to support farmers, communities, organisations and government agencies in halting the spread and impacts of feral deer. The development of the Plan has been funded by the Australian Government, in partnership with Centre for Invasive Species Solutions and the Department of Primary Industries and Regions South Australia.

Case Studies