Kinglake National Park has no public hunting access however Parks Victoria has joined forces with the Australian Deer Association to embark on a deer control program.
The other states need to start following suit utilising local hunting clubs and associations to manage areas with problem animal populations.
In a media release Parks Victoria stated “it is taking steps to ensure precious habitat for endangered and iconic wildlife, such as the Brush-Tailed Phascogale, Powerful Owl and Superb Lyrebird, in Kinglake National Park is preserved by reducing deer numbers which have a severe detrimental impact to the environment and water quality in the area”.
The program aims to remove up to 400 Sambar and Red deer from the immediate surrounds of Toorourrong Reservoir and will run for a year from this month. This is in addition to the existing ongoing deer control program involving volunteers who are removing deer to the north of Toorourrong Reservoir Park.
Parks Victoria regularly undertakes dedicated conservation programs, designed to contribute to habitat restoration or predator
management across all its parks to ensure environmental values are protected for future generations. These programs include activities such as monitoring of grazer and plant populations, revegetation, spraying, controlled burning, and animal control programs. These programs are crucial to restoring habitat and improving overall landscape health.
The area in which the control program will take place is not open to the public as it is a closed catchment. However, to further protect public safety, signage will be in place at management entry points and staff will patrol while the program is underway. There will be no operations on weekends, public holidays or during school holiday periods.
Parks Victoria is using contract marksmen as well as skilled, accredited and authorised volunteer members of the Australian Deer Association to undertake these operations, which will be thoroughly planned and carried out under strict conditions designed to ensure safe, effective and humane practices at all times. Spotlight shooting at night and stalking during daylight will be the main control techniques.
This project has been funded in part by the Victorian Government’s Biodiversity Response Planning program and is helping to ensure that Victoria’s natural environment is healthy, valued and actively cared for.
Quotes, attributed to Trevor Graham, Ranger Team Leader, Parks Victoria
“Victoria’s parks are home to more than 4300 native plants and 948 native animal species. Parks Victoria plays a vital role in protecting native plants and wildlife.”
“Deer are introduced species that are rapidly expanding throughout Victoria. While they are managed for hunting purposes, Parks Victoria has an obligation to reduce numbers in areas where they cause environmental damage.”
“Parks Victoria is pleased to have the support of dedicated volunteers who commit their time to helping us preserve the environment.”