The Invasive Species Council have welcomed the announcement by the South Australian Government of a detailed 10 year plan to eradicate feral deer from the state.
“This is fantastic leadership from the South Australian Government,” said Jack Gough, Advocacy Manager for the Invasive Species Council.
“No other state has shown this level of ambition or committed the funding and focus needed to eradicate feral deer. It would be a monumental achievement if they can get there and set a country-wide precedent.
“In NSW and Victoria, decades of delays in a serious, coordinated effort to stem the tide of feral deer have allowed their numbers to explode to up to 2 million so that eradication is no longer possible.
“South Australia still has a small window of opportunity to eradicate them before the numbers are out of control.
“It is great to see Primary Industries Minister Scriven and Environment Minister Close take up the challenge to protect our environment, agriculture and motorists.
“Feral deer are one of Australia’s worst emerging invasive species. They overgraze and trample native grasslands and ring-bark native shrubs and trees.
“They cause erosion and degrade water quality by wallowing in wetlands and streams.”
“The next step must be for the South Australian Government to increase the funding to match their ambition.”
“To be successful the program needs at least $14 million over the 10 years with the majority of that front-ended. At this stage there is only $1.1 million per year allocated for 3 years, which is about $1.5 million short of what they need to achieve the initial knockdown targets set out in the Strategic Plan,” Mr Gough said.