Login | Request Account (DAF staff only)

Ecology, impacts and management of wild deer in Australia

View Altmetrics

Forsyth, D. M., Pople, A. R. and Nugent, G. (2023) Ecology, impacts and management of wild deer in Australia. Wildlife Research, 50 (9). i-vii.


Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1071/WR23092


We first provide the rationale for this special issue of Wildlife Research. We then summarise recent knowledge gains about the impacts, ecology and management of wild deer in Australia. Finally, we identify five priority areas for further investigation.
Deer (Family Cervidae) have long been highly valued by people for their economic and resource values, as well as for aesthetic, cultural and spiritual reasons (Baker et al. 2014). Consequently, deer have been translocated far and wide, both within their ancestral strongholds in Eurasia and the Americas and, Antarctica aside, to all other continents (Long 2003; Nugent et al., in press). For Australia, the main motivation for the initial introductions in the 1800s and early 1900s appears to have been a combination of an
enthusiastic interest in exotic species and a desire to recreate a resource symbolic of the wealth, power and prestige long associated with deer hunting in Europe in general (and Britain in particular) but more accessible to the common person. That motivation was clearly strong, because importing non-native deer into Australia in the 1800s was a major undertaking, involving long sea voyages in small sailing ships, with deer survival often depending on luck.
Acclimatisation societies established captive breeding populations of deer so that more individuals could be released (Bentley 1998). Following release, these new deer populations were sometimes strictly protected from hunting for decades to help ensure their establishment and spread, a practice that continued until as recently as the 1980s.
Indeed, the establishment of a new fallow deer (Dama dama) population on public land at Koetong, north-east Victoria, was actively supported by the state government during
the 1970s and 1980s (Phillips 1985), and deer are today managed as game in Victoria and Tasmania.
The advent of deer farming as a profitable enterprise in the 1970s and 1980s led to deer being captured from the wild, bred in captivity and then moved around the country to
establish new farms. New wild populations have established from deer escaping from farms, and also from the deliberate (but now illegal) release by people wanting to establish new
populations for hunting (Moriarty 2004). Wild deer are now present in all Australian states and territories.

Item Type:Article
Corporate Creators:Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland
Business groups:Biosecurity Queensland
Keywords:Cervidae, future spread, invasive species, species distribution modeling Applied ecology, Invasion ecology, Landscape ecology
Subjects:Science > Invasive Species > Animals > Animal control and ecology
Science > Invasive Species > Animals > Impact assessment
Science > Invasive Species > Modelling > Animal
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural ecology (General)
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Conservation of natural resources
Animal culture > Deer
Animal culture > Acclimatization
Agriculture > By region or country > Australia
Live Archive:12 Oct 2023 23:10
Last Modified:12 Oct 2023 23:10

Repository Staff Only: item control page


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics