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Export opportunity

July 31, 2022

Trying to find fauna to feature in this blog during winter is quite difficult. The only animals that can be relied upon to be around during this time are Eastern Grey Kangaroos (Macropus giganteus) that are always up for a family portrait (see below) and unfortunately, Sambar Deer (Rusa unicolor).

Family portrait

When I moved into the area nearly two decades ago one never saw deer. They were happily inhabiting more remote places like the Mt Disappointment State Forest. But since the ’09 bushfires when that forest got totally burnt out, Sambar Deer, as well as other species of deer such as Red Deer and Fallow Deer have found good foraging in the valleys and haven’t left.

Sambar Deer are the largest of the feral deer in Australia with the males tipping the scales at 300kg. In my experience they are extremely elusive unlike the kangaroos they share the area with. Very often the only indication that the deer are around, apart from footprints and the ubiquitous tree rubbings is the explosive warning sound they make (called pooking) when you get near. These deer graze on a wide variety of vegetation, so much so that they are listed as a biodiversity threat in Victoria.

Originating in India, China and south-east Asia Sambar Deer were first introduced into Australia in the 1860’s nearby at Mount Sugarloaf in what is now known as Kinglake National Park. In their home ranges overseas they are classed as Endangered due in particular to loss of habitat. So here’s the export opportunity for a budding entrepreneur. Why not export a feral pest from Australia back to where it came from (and remove it from the Endangered list at the same time) and set up the export operation in Kinglake.

There’s something ‘full circle’ about that idea.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Susan permalink
    July 31, 2022 8:02 pm

    I’ll take the suggestion to the next UGLN meeting!!!

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