26 September 2023

Oh Deer! DPI map tracks farmers’ pest

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The Department of Primary Industries has released new mapping to better track feral deer and pigs.

The move follows the discovery that deer have moved into new areas in NSW, highlighting the need for targeted and sustained pest control.

Minister for Agriculture, Adam Marshall said feral deer and pigs were four-legged menaces that caused headaches for farmers.

“We need new tools to support traditional pest control methods used by primary producers and hunters to keep them in check,” Mr Marshall said.

“Feral deer populations have continued to expand and occupy an area covering around 22 per cent of the State, up five per cent from 2016.”

He said that in order to get ahead of the problem there was a need to know exactly where they were and where they were likely to go next.

“This mapping tool will give public and private land managers insights they have never had before so that they can better track and document pest animal populations and movements in their area,” the Minister said.

Mr Marshall said the mapping project, through the Department of Primary Industries, was part of a long-term plan to track pest animal population trends in NSW, including deer and pigs.

“Drought and bushfires have had a short-term effect on pest animal populations, but we have also seen the efforts of our coordinated control programs begin to be rewarded,” he said.

“The total area of high-density feral pig populations has been reduced by a massive 24 per cent in 2020, compared with 2016.”

He said the Department had taken the additional step of adding feral pigs to its mapping exercise to better inform strategies focused on addressing the risk of African swine fever entering the country.

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