Feral deer around Coffs Harbour will be the target of a surveillance operation to assess their numbers.
Feral deer around Coffs Harbour will be the target of a surveillance operation to assess their numbers.

Feral deer spotting

RANGERS from the North Coast Livestock Health and Pest Authority are planning a surveillance operation to assess the number of feral deer roaming the hills to the west of Coffs Harbour.

North Coast LHPA ranger Craig Rogers said the ground surveillance operation, involving rangers from Grafton and Casino, would allow them to get some idea of the number of animals involved and begin looking at a control plan.

In the interim he is asking residents to leave deer undisturbed, in order to make surveillance of the flighty animals more effective.

Deer can carry cattle ticks, so a build-up of feral animals is cause for alarm.

Fallow deer, including breeding groups of stags with does, have become a frequent sight around Upper Orara and Karangi in recent years, with residents reporting herds of up to 25 animals.

Early morning and late evening are when residents and visitors are most likely to spot the shy deer. Dairy farmers’ winter feed crops of ryegrass and oats are a favourite target.

Numbers of smaller spotted deer are being reported in bushland areas around the Big Banana and at West Korora.

South Coast resident and regular visitor to the Orara Valley, Malcolm Mason, believes the ‘monarchs of the glen’ should be protected by the Crown and managed by competent authorities.

Mr Mason said it had always been a pleasure to see a 20-strong herd of deer, accompanied by two stags, on his visits to Upper Orara and Karangi, but on his last visit he had seen only one doe and one stag, so he was wondering what had happened to them.



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