Be on the lookout for deer as rutting season gets underway


rusa deer

The Rusa, an introduced species of deer that have gone feral on the Illawarra escarpment. Picture: Museum of Australia

RESIDENTS are being warned to be on the look out for deer as the pest species’ rutting season gets underway.

Each year during the rutting season – generally between May and August – the visibility of deer increases as they move down from the escarpment and into urban areas, as the stags compete for herd and territorial dominance.

This is an annual occurrence and we anticipate people are already starting to see deer on a more regular basis around the city,” Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said.

“When they’re looking for a mate, they roam further a-field. In addition, the bucks are also vying for territory and so people may hear their interactions.”

Wollongong City Council has been working since 2010 with a number of key stakeholders, including South East Local Land Services, who facilitate the Illawarra Wild Deer Management Program to reduce deer impacts and population.

By implementing a landscape management approach, the program has been operational across both government and private lands having culled more than 4,000 deer since May 2011.

“During this time of year we work with the community and other stakeholders to gather valuable information about the deer movement that is, in turn, used to support our deer management program,” Cr Bradbery said.

“Deer are known to be highly adaptable and will modify their behaviour to threats, this poses a very real challenge for those trying to reduce their numbers in a safe and sustainable way.”

Deer sightings can be reported using the FeralScan website or by giving the Council a call.

“That way, we can get the most up to date data of their movement through to the appropriate people,” Cr Bradbury said.

Council has information on its website on how to reduce the impact of deer on properties including using motion sensor lighting, and watering systems. For more information visit here.



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About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of Australian pubs and associated industries for over 30 years. He is working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick managed several community newspapers. He has been editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), the Sydney city newspaper, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.


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