Aerial program to protect Grampians

Wednesday 13 May, 2020

Deer and feral goats targeted in May operation

An ongoing conservation program in the Grampians National Park will be supported this month by an aerial operation targeting deer and feral goats.

The national heritage-listed national park is a unique and fragile environment, home to threatened native animals, one-third of Victoria’s flora, and the majority of Aboriginal rock art in Victoria.

As part of a multi-year conservation program, Parks Victoria is using on-ground and aerial operations to protect these special values from the impacts of deer and feral goats. These introduced species are prolific grazers, stripping vegetation, causing erosion, transporting diseases, and diminishing food and habitat for native species.

Weather permitting, an aerial operation will be undertaken between 13–20-May to target these animals in inaccessible parts of the national park, and also Black Range State Park. With the Grampians reopened to the public this week, the operation will take place away from key visitor areas and be carried out on weekdays only. 

The operation will be carried out under strict conditions designed to ensure safe, effective, and humane practices. It has also been planned to ensure it meets requirements under public health measures to slow the spread of coronavirus COVID-19. This includes through strict physical distancing, hygiene and travel management of ground crews, and hygiene control within the helicopter.

The operation is being funded as part of a $1.8 million state government Biodiversity Response Planning grant focusing on improving the protection of irreplaceable Aboriginal cultural values and threatened vegetation by reducing populations of weeds, rabbits, deer, and feral goats.

Quotes attributable to Rhonda McNeil, Area Chief Ranger–Parks Victoria:

“To ensure the state’s environmental and cultural values are protected, Parks Victoria regularly undertakes conservation programs, including animal and weed control, and fire management.”

“Aerial control programs are proving to be an important part of the mix when it comes to controlling some animals across large areas.”

“In the Grampians National Park and Black Range State Park, aerial crews are complementing the on-ground efforts of other professional and accredited volunteer shooters and Park Rangers.”

Media enquiries

Dragana Mrkaja

Mobile: 0429 276 483

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