DEER culling will begin this month in Kinglake National Park, near Toorourrong Reservoir.
Parks Victoria will remove up to 400 Sambar and Red Deer, with the culling program expected to take a year, in an effort to preserve the Brush-Tailed Phascogale, Powerful Owl and Superb Lyrebird.
“Victoria’s parks are home to more than 4300 native plants and 948 native animal species. Parks Victoria plays a vital role in protecting native plants and wildlife,” ranger team leader Trevor Graham said.
“Deer are introduced species that are rapidly expanding throughout Victoria. While they are managed for hunting purposes, Parks Victoria has an obligation to reduce numbers in areas where they cause environmental damage.”
Parks Victoria is using contract marksmen as well as skilled, accredited and authorised volunteer members of Australian Deer Association to undertake the operation.
“Parks Victoria is pleased to have the support of dedicated volunteers who commit their time to helping us preserve the environment,” Mr Graham said.
The culling program will be carried out under strict conditions designed to ensure safe, effective and humane practices at all times.
Spotlight shooting at night and stalking during daylight will be the main control techniques.
Signs will be in place at management entry points and staff will patrol the park while the program is underway. There will be no operations on weekends, public holidays or during school holiday periods.