Collaborative Community Deer Action across Nillumbik

For information about deer, including management and control, please visit our Pest animals - deer page.

The Collaborative Community Deer Action project is now complete. This Communities Environment Program-funded project ran from 2020 to 2021. It built capacity within the Nillumbik community to identify and control deer by providing educational activities and resources. It also supported landholders to establish collaborative deer action projects with their neighbours.

As a result of the project, landholders can now confidently identify deer species, and recognise signs of deer presence and damage; they know how to monitor deer, work with their neighbours to maximise benefits of control, and they understand many of the management and control tools that are possible to use within peri-urban environments.

We also encouraged landholders to record all of their deer sightings, including damage and control activities in DeerScan, and the number of people using the app, as well as the number of submissions to the app increased.  This data is valuable in helping to inform biodiversity protection investment.

Practical actions including culling and fencing will have a positive effect on the environment – regeneration of plants will be possible, ground-dwelling fauna habitat will be protected, crops will not be decimated, and threatened flora such as orchids will not be trampled or grazed by deer.

As part of the project, Council ran a Deer Survey, where we asked the Nillumbik community about their views on deer and what they wanted to learn more about. We received suggestions from 285 people. 

In summary we identified that:

  • 85% of respondents think deer are a problem in the Shire of Nillumbik
  • 72% see deer on their own property
  • 82% have seen deer damage

View a detailed summary of the Deer Survey results(PDF, 2MB)

There are less deer reported in the west of Nillumbik – at the moment - which makes now the best time to support the community to remove deer and halt incursions.

On the basis of the survey suggestions and responses, a series of educational events about deer were delivered. Over 300 people were directly involved in the following sessions:

  • Deer identification
  • Recognising and monitoring deer presence and damage
  • Deer shooting in peri-urban areas
  • Managing deer with your neighbours
  • Property management options to reduce deer damage
  • Deer control technology (thermal night vision etc)
  • Information session for prospective Deer Directory service providers  (controllers and hunters)
  • Property visits
  • Group walk and talk sessions

All of the online webinars were recorded and are available for viewing on our website and a range of deer control fact sheets and checklists have been produced.  These resources will be used to support and enable ongoing collaborative community deer action with well-coordinated on-ground deer control works.

The Australian Government’s Department of Industry, Innovation and Science funded the program through two one-year grants from the Communities Environment Program.

Australian Government logo with the text