Virtual fence deterring deer from roads

An innovative Brisbane City Council trial is virtually fencing a Brookfield road, to minimise the risk of traffic accidents caused as a result of feral deer crossing the city’s roads.

Chairman for Environment, Parks and Sustainability Cr David McLachlan said virtual fencing was a unique wildlife management solution that had proven effective for other animal populations across the world.

“Deer can cause serious traffic hazards and Council is now monitoring the ability of a virtual fence along Rafting Ground Road to keep deer off our roads,” Cr McLachlan said.

“Wandering deer are a significant concern in the city’s western suburbs and the virtual fence will help steer deer clear of our roads by emitting a high-pitched sonar signal as vehicles approach.

“The virtual fence looks like standard guide rails placed along the kerb and are a low-impact solution to wildlife management, only activated when a vehicle’s headlights illuminate the sensor.”

“Brisbane is a clean, green and sustainable city and is home to thousands of species of wildlife and it is important we find that balance so our city continues to be a great place to live, work and relax.

Cr McLachlan said Rafting Ground Road was chosen as the trial location as it was a known deer-crossing point and the low-light environment improved the effectiveness of the light-activated technology.

“Brisbane is home to more than 400 feral deer, which are classed as a pest under both State and Council legislation because of the environmental, economic and social threats they pose,” he said.

“Since July 2016, Council has received nearly around 140 reports of feral deer sightings in the city’s western suburbs, and has captured around 180 pest deer in the same period.

“Council is committed to keeping Brisbane clean, green and sustainable, and will closely monitor the number of deer crossings along this stretch of road as the trial continues through to the end of the financial year.

“If successful, the virtual fencing technology may be rolled out to other locations across the city.”

Council’s pest management program is delivered proactively and in response to sightings. For more information, visit www.brisbane.qld.gov.au or call Council on 3403 8888.