FERAL deer are increasingly being spotted roaming Gold Coast suburbs and have been seen as far south as the Tweed.

However, Gold Coast City Council cannot say how many of the invasive animals are thought to be in the city, despite describing management of the pest population as critically important.

Residents in Merrimac and Mudgeeraba have been informally reporting deer sightings in recent times.

The council's data indicates most sightings occur in Advancetown, Guanaba and Merrimac.

Nick Rossiter took to Facebook to share a photo of three deer grazing on his property. Picture: Facebook/Nick Rossiter
Nick Rossiter took to Facebook to share a photo of three deer grazing on his property. Picture: Facebook/Nick Rossiter

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Nick Rossiter took to Facebook to share a photo of three deer grazing on his Mudgeeraba property, to the amusement of social media users.

It comes as the council continues to collect data and map populations as it works towards "future management" programs.

Deer compete with native wildlife for food and cause widespread environmental damage by trampling with their split hoofs.

A deer on a rampage through Gooding Drive Villas at Merrimac on the Gold Coast in 2015. Picture: Luke Marsden.
A deer on a rampage through Gooding Drive Villas at Merrimac on the Gold Coast in 2015. Picture: Luke Marsden.

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They have also been linked with serious traffic crashes, sometimes proving fatal.

Deer were introduced to Australia in the late 19th century and have established populations across Queensland.

In mid-2019, deer were sighted in the Tweed for the first time ever.

The Gold Coast council was asked how many deer were thought to be in the city and what was being done to manage the population.

A police officer goes after a troublesome deer in Merrimac in 2015. Picture: Luke Marsden.
A police officer goes after a troublesome deer in Merrimac in 2015. Picture: Luke Marsden.

"City officers undertake frequent monitoring of feral deer activity across different areas of the Gold Coast," a spokesperson said.

"Feral deer found on council land are managed in accordance with council's biosecurity management plan and relevant legislation."

 

 

There has been no recent complaints about deer activity, despite sightings.

"Although there have been no recent complaints recorded relating to feral deer, City officers investigate issues as they arise," the spokesperson said.

Gold Coast
Gold Coast "aquadeer" Trevor became a popular sight in the mid-2000s. Picture: Gold Coast Bulletin

The council's biosecurity management plan for deer includes delaying their spread by eradication and containment.

Deer have been in the headlines on the Coast with some regularity in the past decade, but none have captured more attention than famed "aquadeer" Trevor, who lived on Wavebreak Island in the mid-2000s.

Gold Coast
Gold Coast "aquadeer" Trevor was often spotting swimming. Picture: Gold Coast Bulletin

He was first spotted roaming the man-made island and churning through the Broadwater in 2004 and was joined by a female deer named Karla about two years later.

Trevor was shot and killed by a wildlife officer after it led police on a chase from Burleigh Heads to the Isle of Capri.

Originally published as Oh deer: Feral animals on move across Coast



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