Thermal Equipped Helicopters to Monitor South Australian Deer Numbers
Helicopters equipped with thermal imaging cameras will be used for the first time to monitor deer numbers in an effort to eradicate them from the Limestone Coast.
The ABC reported LCLB Feral Deer project officer Aidan Laslett said "The deer are really good at hiding out when they want to".
"They can be particularly difficult to see, even from the air … [but] they'll be easily identifiable on the thermal cameras."
"This is just the first [survey] that we've done with a technology that's relatively new for us, so it's quite exciting."
"We'll be talking to the landholders where we've seen the feral deer, just to let them know what we've seen, and to extend an invitation to be part of our coordinated control programs."
The last aerial culling program was held during September 2021 and removed more than 600 feral deer from the area.
Blackford landholder Brett McLaren said it would be "scary" to know how many feral deer would exist if they did not have culling programs in place.
"Shooting with the standard scope, the shooting with a thermal scope, the deer traps and other control methods, are all part of a toolbox," he said.
"Unfortunately, there's no silver bullet to control these darn things.
Sadly the utilisation of recreational hunters as one of the control measures did not raise a mention. It would be interesting to see the numbers if there was access to the public lands these deer are coming off.