PHOTOS of feral deer captured near Kimba by the Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board have raised concerns that deer populations are establishing on the eastern EP and that sightings are not being reported.
EP landscape officer Rebekah Davenport said it was important to prevent deer populations establishing on the EP as they cause serious detrimental effects to agriculture and biodiversity.
"Feral deer can be very destructive to the agricultural sector economically, impacting farmers when they compete with stock for feed, create soil erosion issues, and damage fences, water pipes, silo bags and crops," Ms Davenport said.
"They also have negative impacts on native vegetation and important biodiversity that rely on these habitats, such as our vulnerable malleefowl populations.
"Wandering deer also pose a potentially fatal traffic hazard on our country roads."
PIRSA's State Deer Control coordinator Jennifer Gillis said it was particularly important to eliminate deer during the current summer season.
"During these hotter months where feed is scarcer, deer can have more extensive impacts on crop and pasture biomass, and populations can potentially be displaced to new areas by fire," Ms Gillis said.
Deer populations have typically established on Eyre Peninsula from historical escapees and the common species seen in this area is the red deer.
Under the Landscape South Australia Act 2019, landholders are required to control any feral deer found on their property.
Ms Davenport said deer were cryptic, typically shy and active mainly in the early morning and evenings, which should be taken into consideration when planning a control program.
EP Landscape Board Landscape Operations (East) team leader Tim Breuer said community support was invaluable in managing feral deer populations and preventing population growth.
"We rely on the community reporting deer sightings to track numbers and facilitate targeted control which can prevent population booms and major negative impacts to the EP," he said.
"We know other parts of our state have well established feral deer populations, something we really want to avoid occurring here.
"An opportunity exists now to make sure feral deer don't spread across our entire region, but we need community support to report sightings and control deer."
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