Problems with deer? Biosecurity Queensland want to know
If you live in an area where deer are a problem, you are invited to have your say on a new feral deer management strategy being developed by Biosecurity Queensland.
Feral deer are a State-wide problem, with an estimated 30,000 living in 20 populations across Queensland.
In North Queensland, they include:
• Chital (Indian spotted deer) were released near Charter Towers in 1886 and can be found around Charters Towers, Townsville and the Gulf, with an estimated 10,000 chital around Charters Towers and 2000 on Rita Island at the mouth of the Burdekin River, as well as hundreds in other locations.
• Rusa deer were released on Friday Island in the Torres Strait in 1912. There are about 500 animals on the Torres Strait islands, including the Prince of Wales Island, which supports the major population, while translocation has led to populations around Charters Towers, Townsville and Rockhampton, where there are populations from 100 to 500 head.
The feral deer management strategy intends to give landholders, industry groups, local government and State agencies a plan to reduce the impact of these species.
The options open to the Government are shooting, trapping or fencing.
However, it will require all groups to work together in a co-ordinated way with a focus on landholder and community co-ordination.
Biosecurity Queensland general manager, Dr Bruce Wilson, said the draft Feral Deer Management Strategy was the first step in the plan to manage the problem, which follows last year's declaration of four deer species as declared pests - chital, rusa, fallow and red.
As feral chital and feral rusa are Class 2 pests, landowners are required to eliminate them from their properties, while feral fallow and feral red deer, which are Class 3 pests, are only required to be controlled if they are in or adjacent to environmentally significant areas.
Farmed deer - those kept for safari enterprises or other purposes - are not declared pests, provided they are kept inside deer-proof enclosures.
If you have a problem with feral deer, have your say on the development of a management strategy by logging onto www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au, where your ideas will be accepted until December 31, or contact Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23.