Landholder perceptions about wild deer on Liverpool Plains
This study investigates landholder perceptions about wild deer in the Liverpool Plains region in NSW and their attitudes towards relevant management strategies.
We conducted two surveys, one online and one by randomised telephone survey within the Liverpool Plains to explore the following:
- the prevalence of wild deer on their properties
- their perceptions about the costs and benefits of wild deer
- the acceptability of a range of deer control measures, and
- whether wild deer should be declared a pest in the region.
Data was collected from 46 participants (13 female and 33 male) online and 201 participants by telephone (79 female and 122 male).
Wild deer represent a major concern to landholders in the Liverpool Plains area. Their presence on farms represents a major threat to the financial viability of agricultural operations and biodiversity.
Their control will require management strategies that are acceptable, effective and likely to be adopted by those farmers confronting this emerging pest animal.
This report identifies three promising strategies based on these criteria: coordinated control programs and aerial or ground shooting by professional shooters.
Overall there was strong support, amongst both online and phone survey respondents, that deer should be declared a pest species in NSW.
However, it is important to acknowledge that some landholders continue to perceive the presence of deer as bringing aesthetic value to the landscape and joy to family members.
North West Local Land Services will be carefully managing community engagement strategies to ensure these landholders are fully informed about the magnitude of the problem, and potential benefits of coordinated management approach to deer control.