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Parks Victoria – Deer Control Program – Baw Baw National Park

Parks Victoria will engage the services of a contractor to undertake deer control in the Baw Baw National Park on 5-11 March 2023, dependent on weather conditions. The above map shows the area in which deer control will occur.

The park will not be closed when deer control work is being undertaken. Signs will be placed at major access points advising visitors that deer control is being undertaken. All personnel involved will be working under the supervision of Parks Victoria staff. They will be readily identifiable and will act in accordance with all legal requirements to ensure the safe use of firearms. Over the past decade there has been a significant expansion of deer across Victoria and of particular concern is the increasing deer activity at higher elevations. Baw Baw National Park is home to high quality, relatively intact, alpine peatlands and deer presence has a significant impact on the resilience of alpine peatlands.

Alpine Peatlands and Associated Fens are an endangered ecological community listed under national and state legislation (the Commonwealth Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999) and Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act (1988)). They provide a critical hydrological function at the top of the water catchment, filtering water and modulating flows. Alpine peatlands also provide habitat for several threatened species including the alpine water skink, alpine she oak skink and Baw Baw frog.

Deer pose the greatest threat to alpine peatlands by trampling, wallowing, grazing and thrashing their antlers to remove vegetation. A recent study by Davies et al. 2020 used a camera array to confirm anecdotal information that Sambar deer are present in Baw Baw National Park.

The Alpine National Park Deer Control Trial (which concluded in 2020) has shown ground shooting using contractors is an efficient and effective approach for controlling deer in the alpine environment. Parks Victoria takes coordinated action, informed by scientific research, tailored to individual parks and target species, to reduce the damage caused by deer and feral animals. Each conservation program is one of hundreds of programs across Victoria using available tools to protect nature.

Please contact Parks Victoria if you have any questions or would like more information on this project at, or call 13 1963