European fallow deer (Dama dama) were first introduced to the Tasmanian landscape from England in the 1800s to provide a hunting resource. Since the 1970s, deer populations have become established well outside the traditional range, with populations extending into wilderness areas with high conservation values and satellite populations including several in peri-urban areas. The Tasman Peninsula is well beyond the traditional range, and deer were brought to the area as part of the growth of deer farming across Tasmania, particularly in the 1980s. Escapees from deer farms, and potentially illegal releases of deer, have contributed to the wider spread of deer on the Tasman Peninsula.
In 2022, through the Tasmanian Wild Fallow Deer Management Plan, the Tasman Peninsula was established as a Zone 3 area, with the broad management objective to have no deer in the landscape.[iii] While recognising the inherent difficulty of eradicating deer, the “no deer” objective of this zone translates to preventing new incursions and either eradicating or managing down existing satellite populations in a strategic and prioritised manner.
Substantial areas of the Tasman Peninsula constitute suitable habitat for fallow deer, consequently it can be expected that, if not actively controlled, the population will increase substantially and impact local agriculture and the environment. It will also cause increasing public safety risks on the peninsula’s roads and lead to an increase in illegal and unsafe hunting.
|Date:||Tuesday, 7 November, 2023|