Feral deer alert activated for Byron Shire

Published on 02 August 2022

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In a big blow for the environment, the Northern Rivers has been placed on feral deer alert and Council is urging the community to take photos and report any feral deer sightings immediately via www.deerscan.org.au

“Tweed Shire’s sightings have recently gone through the roof with deers causing a serious car collision and many near misses and collisions that are happening on a daily basis,” Council’s Biodiversity Team Leader Liz Caddick said.

“This is a real concern to us because we know the Rusa male deers have been recently spotted around the Byron Shire. If you start seeing 2 or 3 you probably have 10 to 20 around and the damage they’re likely to cause is significant so acting fast and reporting any sightings is critical,” she said.

“The Northern Rivers is one of the few areas left on the eastern seaboard where deer have not yet become established and we need to pull together and do everything we can to keep it that way.

“Besides being very big and fast, feral deer are usually on the move at dawn and dusk in rural areas.  If you’re out and about during these times, our advice is to slow down on our roads because deer can step out onto the road and are big enough to cause a serious accident.

“While slowing down to avoid a collision with a deer, you’ll also be helping to reduce the devastating native wildlife and koala casualties we’ve recently experienced on our roads,” Ms Caddick said.

June to October is deer mating season and the feral Rusa males will be actively moving around to attract a mate.

In other parts of Australia, feral deer populations have caused native ecosystems to collapse, spread invasive weeds, spread livestock pests, reduced the ability of farmers to make a living and have caused serious collisions on roads.

They are becoming one of Australia’s worst pest animals in regions not far from the Northern Rivers alongside wild cats, dogs, foxes and rabbits.

For more information see the Feral Deer Alert website: www.feraldeeralert.com.au and you can report sightings via www.deerscan.org.au

For media enquiries contact Council’s Media and Communications Team on 6626 7320.

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