THE Limestone Coast Landscape Board is conducting an aerial survey next week to determine the distribution and abundance of feral deer in the area.
The aerial monitoring program from April 11 to 13 will use innovative thermal-assisted technology to target areas of native vegetation where feral deer are suspected to shelter.
This includes conservation parks and private native vegetation focused around Keilira, Taratap, Tilley Swamp, Petherick, Bunbury, Deepwater, Salt Creek, Martin Washpool, Bunbury, Gum Lagoon, and Hanson Scrub.
LC Landscape Board general manager Steve Bourne said while control programs had been operating for more than 15 years the geographical spread and number of feral deers appeared to be increasing.
"The LC Landscape Board is committed to supporting landholders to eradicate feral deer on their properties and the thermal-assisted aerial monitoring is a key component of our overall feral deer eradication program."
Feral deer compete with livestock for pasture, damage infrastructure such as fences and have the potential to spread disease.
"By working together, we can reduce the impact of feral deer on the region's agricultural bottom line and environment," Mr Bourne said.
The Board says the helicopter conducting the monitoring will be flying low but it will make every effort to minimise disturbance to farm houses, working sheds, horse yards and paddocks containing livestock.
Information collected from the thermal-assisted aerial monitoring will inform the Limestone Coast Landscape Board's feral deer eradication program and sightings on private land will be reported to the landholders.
Under the Landscape South Australia Act 2019 (the Act) feral deer are a declared pest, and landholders are responsible for the eradication of feral deer on their properties. The Act includes separate declarations for domestic (farmed) and feral deer.
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