Three-zone deer plan

DPIPWE has released the draft for its Tasmanian Wild Fallow Deer Management Plan for public comment.

The management plan is five-year plan that outlines the intent on how introduced deer population is managed and geographically contained within Tasmania.

The aim of the plan is to minimise the wild fallow deer population in areas with significant natural value.

It will address the environmental, agricultural, commercial, and public safety impact that deer have, while also recognising their importance as a hunting resource.

The new plan incorporates updated deer management strategies, which include removing quotas and tags for antlerless deer, extending the hunting season, and introducing five-year crop protection permits.

The management plan outlines three distinct geographic zones within Tasmania which will have differing deer control containment methods.

Zone 1 is the Sustainable hunting region, where populations will be managed for continued sustainable hunting.

Zone 2 is the Mixed Management region, which acts as a buffer zone between Zones 1 and 2, where deer populations will be managed.

Zone 3 is the remainder of Tasmania, where through reductions in hunting and culling restrictions, deer populations will eventually be eliminated.

The draft plan outlines the growth of wild fallow deer in Tasmania, which has seen a 6.5 per cent growth in population per annum since 1985.

Earlier this year, the Invasive Species Council launched a report commissioned by the Bob Brown Foundation that outlined the growing habitat of the fallow deer in Tasmania, and the destruction they can cause.

CEO of the Invasive Special Council Andrew Cox said deer are costing Tasmanian farmers up to $80 million per year through property damage and erosion.

This is before additional factors such as potential vehicle accidents caused by deer as they spread to more urban areas, and intangible costs, like the effects on cultural values as they begin to establish themselves in Tasmania’s national parks and reserves.

The Tasmanian Country was also recently contacted regarding invasive deer on the Tasman Peninsula where residents were “sick and tired” of roaming deer.

“We can’t even have a garden,” said John Miles, a peninsula resident.

The management plan can be viewed on the DPIPWE website.

Public feedback on the draft plan closes at 5pm on December 3, 2021.

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