Feral deer
  • Last updated:
  • 09 Sep 2019

There are feral groups of Red and Rusa deer in the Sunshine Coast region. Red deer moved into the Mary Valley more than 100 years ago and the population is now stable. In comparison, Rusa deer have only recently become established on the Sunshine Coast and have the potential to become a serious pest in semi-rural areas if they are not effectively controlled. Isolated sightings of other species have also occurred.

Council assistance

Council's Feral Deer Officer can advise you how to reduce the impact of deer or assist with the control of deer on your property. Please contact council to request assistance or to report sightings or complete the feral animals incident / sightings report[361KB].

A declared pest

All species of deer are declared pest animals in Queensland if they are not kept in approved enclosures. Feral deer cause economic, environmental and social problems including:

  • Serious traffic accidents due to their size, shape and preference for night time movement
  • Damage to pastures, crops, irrigation systems and fences
  • Damage to trees and native seedlings
  • Dispersal of weed seeds
  • The spread of diseases including leptospirosis and bovine Johne's disease

Deer management

Council aims to work with the community to manage the feral deer by:

  • Conducting surveys to determine the distribution, population size, habitat use and impacts of feral deer
  • Developing community awareness of feral deer impacts and the benefits of effective management
  • Assisting the community to control feral deer in areas where they have only recently become established or are have a significant impact



Image courtesy of the Queensland Government's Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

For more information, watch the Landline video Deer Enemy: Frustrated farmers at breaking point with wild deer