The ACT Government successfully removed 156 feral deer in the Murrumbidgee and Molonglo River Corridors during an aerial culling program last week.
Nature reserves and walking trails, including part of the Centenary Trail that was closed for the program, have now re-opened to the public.
“We have been able to significantly reduce the emerging feral deer populations in Bullen Range, Woodstock and Lower Molonglo nature reserves and surrounding areas before they have a chance to become established. This will reduce impacts on our nature reserves and surrounding farmland,” ACT Parks and Conservation’s Invasive Animal Manager Oliver Orgill said.
“Of note, we were able to remove over 50 fallow deer from the Lower Molonglo nature reserve which will reduce the likelihood of deer from this population moving up the river corridor and into urban areas.
“Deer are invasive animals that have the potential to cause significant environmental and agricultural damage if populations are left unchecked. They graze on native plants, kill young trees through antler rubbing and cause damage to sensitive river corridor environments with their hooves.
“In total the program culled 152 fallow deer and four sambar deer. Additionally, 11 feral pigs and one feral goat were culled.
“The success of the operation lays a solid foundation and demonstrates this type of program is effective, efficient and operationally sound. It will be able to be implemented again in the future to control emerging feral deer populations.
“An independent vet helped monitor the operation and undertook over 50 carcass inspections on the ground. The auditing revealed all feral deer were culled humanely in accordance with operational protocols and no adverse welfare outcomes were reported.
“We thank the public for cooperating with the nature reserve and trail closures for the duration of the program.”
The following sites have had closure signs removed and are now open to the public:
- Bullen Range nature reserve
- Lower Molonglo nature reserve
- Woodstock nature reserve
- Kambah Pool recreation area
- Centenary trail between Kambah Pool and Tuggeranong creek
- Murrumbidgee discovery trail between Kambah Pool and the Cotter
- Shepherd’s Lookout track
- Uriarra Loop track
- Georgio’s Sandwash track
- Tong’s Hole track
Further information on feral deer is available from www.environment.act.gov.au
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Section: ACT Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate | Media Releases
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