Six non-native deer species have established wild populations in Australia, and most are expanding in distribution and abundance. There is therefore increasing focus on the need to understand and manage these species. Capturing and immobilising wild deer is essential for many research and management applications, but the best methods for doing this have not been identified for the Australian situation.

To address this knowledge gap, we systematically reviewed methods used to physically capture and chemically immobilise the six wild deer species in Australia. A variety of physical and chemical restraint methods have been used to capture wild deer in Australia, but these have seldom been reported in peer-reviewed publications. Physical capture methods have employed a variety of trapping and netting configurations. Some chemical immobilisation approaches have used oral baiting, but most have relied on darting of free-ranging animals or hand-injection of physically restrained deer.

There is uncertainty about the efficacy and animal welfare impacts of the techniques currently used to capture wild deer in Australia. Improved reporting of capture outcomes would facilitate the identification of ‘best practice’ techniques for capturing wild deer in Australian environments.

Access the full article here: CSIRO PUBLISHING | Australian Mammalogy


Hampton OJ, Finch, NA, Watter K, Amos, M, Pople T, Moriarty A, Jacotine A, Panther D, McGhie C, Davies C, Mitchel J and Forsyth DM (2019)

A review of methods used to capture and restrain introduced wild deer in Australia.

Australian Mammalogy 41, 1-11.

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