Local News

Feral Deer Take Over Hills & South East

640px Wild Deer

A record number of feral deer has authorities warning residents to take care when driving around the Hills and on the South Eastern Freeway.

There are now around 10,000 of the species in South Australia—the highest number in history, according to Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA).

Deer were first released in South Australia in 1880 for hunting and since then their numbers have gotten out of control in some regions of SA including the Hills and the South East. 

According to PIRSA, deer are an agricultural, environmental and social pest. They eat native plants and compete with native wildlife and livestock for grass, while contributing to erosion in creek and river systems. 

Feral deer can also be a hazard on roads. Residents have been reporting a number of sightings and collisions recently on the South Eastern Freeway around Bridgewater and Hahndorf and near the Heysen Tunnels.

PIRSA Biosecurity officer Bradley Page said that wild deer are not allowed to be released from captivity, and keepers must notify neighbouring landholders if any escape.

The State Government has introduced a new feral deer policy that requires landholders to destroy all feral deer on their properties.

The policy also includes a deer control coordinator and the requirement of deer farmers to tag deer at the age of 1 and build 1.9 metre tall fences to keep them in.

Image: Wikicommons