By Gabriella Payne
Feral deer have long been a problem throughout Victoria, but with increasing numbers of deer sightings being reported in Beaconsfield, Officer and Berwick, it seems the problem is spreading – and the Cardinia Deer Management Coalition (CDMC) have grand plans to stop it.
In the coming months, the CDMC will be conducting some major studies to gather information about the deer population and movements in the area, in the hopes to prevent environmental damage, car accidents and other problems caused by these wild animals.
A thermal imaging aerial survey of large sections of the Cardinia Creek catchment area will be conducted towards the end of May, which will help the organisation understand the deer patterns and hot spots throughout the area.
Feral deer are known to cause many issues in Victoria – whether it’s a garden incursion, a car accident or near miss, a decimated orchard or the detrimental impact they have on our native environment – it’s clear that something needs to be done to address these problems.
Made possible by a $20,000 Federal Government Communities Environment Program grant, this survey will give the CDMC an idea of just how severe the feral deer problem in the area actually is – and therefore, an idea of what needs to be done to stop the animals spreading.
Using a helicopter, the aerial survey will be conducted using “the latest thermal imaging camera technology” and will take place early one morning, and perhaps one evening if necessary.
On top of that, the CDMC have received a $25,000 Melbourne Water Incentives Program grant, which will allow them to undertake ground studies in the survey area, to assess the environmental impacts that browsing deer have caused in the region.
Though tedious and complicated work, the CDMC are excited to be able to get started and believe the information gathered in the survey will provide them with vital clues as to how best to prevent the spread of feral deer in Cardinia.
The CDMC will need volunteer help with this survey and are encouraging members of the local community who would like to get involved in this “cutting-edge research” to reach out and help them make a difference in protecting the natural environment.
If you would like to be involved in any way or want to find out more about the survey, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or check the CDMC website at www.cardiniadeer.org.au