Abstract

Title:  Threats to Deer Management in Australia: A Case History on Conflict Resolution in Tasmania
Author(s): Brian Murphy, Quality Deer Management Association
Year: 1998
Abstract: During the past decade, there have been numerous threats to the future of deer hunting and management in Australia. This is particularly true in Tasmania where potential deer herd deregulation and the introduction of new gun control legislation resulted in significant biological, social and political changes. Tasmania is the island state of Australia located 300 krn off the southeast coast. Fallow deer (Dama dama) are the only deer species present and the current wild population is estimated at 15,000-18,000. Previous deer management strategies failed to find sustainable solutions to agricultural damage, competition with livestock, and declining herd quality. As a result, during the early 19901s, Tasmanian farmers aggressively lobbied the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service (TPWS) to remove all legal protection on wild deer. In response, the Tasmanian Deer Advisory Committee Inc. (TDAC) began implementation of a statewide Quality Deer Management (QDM) program in 1993. The initial program proved successful, although the need for a more comprehensive strategy soon became apparent. In 1994, the TDAC implemented a strategy called Property-based Game Management (PBGM) which incorporates QDM. This combination of approaches proved so effective that landowners ceased their push for deregulation and joined the TDAC in support for the establishment of a Game Management Unit (GMU) within the TPWS. This unit was established in July 1996 and represents only the second GMU in Australia. The implications of national gun control legislation, introduced in 1996, are also discussed.

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