We are improving our understanding of how many wild fallow deer we have Tasmania, and where they can be found. For this reason we are undertaking a census.
The census will be undertaken using the following three methods:
- aerial surveying in the areas where there are likely lots of wild fallow deer
- camera trapping in areas where there are not many wild fallow deer
- citizen science in areas where deer population is low or non-existent
Wild fallow deer were surveyed across eastern Tasmania between 23 September and 4 October 2019. Included in the survey were sightings of forester kangaroo because they share similar habitat.
A helicopter was used to complete the survey. It flew at 50 knots (92 km/h), 200 feet (61 metres) above ground level along a series of east to west orientated survey lines spaced at approximately 10 km intervals. Wild fallow deer and forester kangaroo were counted by direct visual observation, as well as by using a thermal imagery camera.
The survey method was successful, with both visual observations and thermal imagery detecting wild fallow deer, forester kangaroos, and various other wildlife species. Frequently asked questions are available on the Aerial Survey FAQ web page
The final report on this part of the census is available in three versions:
The camera trapping part of the census will start in January 2021. Trail cameras will be positioned in areas where there are only small populations of wild fallow deer.
The general public can get involved and will be given the opportunity to report sightings of wild fallow deer. This will be done using the DeerScan application. This method will be focused on National Parks and World Heritage Areas. These are places with very low, or possibly non-existent, wild fallow deer populations. This method will allow ongoing monitoring of the geographic distribution of wild fallow deer.
In response to the 2017 Legislative Council inquiry into wild fallow deer the Government committed to:
- undertaking a comprehensive state-wide census of wild fallow deer in Tasmania
- working with the University of Tasmanian and other stakeholders to develop appropriate survey methodologies
- using the census outputs to inform Quality Deer Management strategies and current wildlife monitoring programs
- working with research partners on a project that will assess the distribution and numbers of wild fallow deer in parts of the TWWHA. This project will complement the state-wide census
- using information from the state-wide population census and other population surveys to inform deer management strategies across the Tasmanian landscape