Northland Regional Council

Russell sika deer Eradication

Deer living in the wild are a declared eradication species under Northland’s Regional Pest and Marine Pathway Management Plan. There are about 12 small herds of wild deer in the region, mostly red deer but including a population of sika deer (Cervus nippon) in Russell Forest – part of Northland Conservation Park plus adjacent private tenures. This population was established in 1988 when 12 sika deer were illegally liberated. The animals have been subjected to recreational hunting since that time and to official control by the Department of Conservation (DOC) since 1998.

Since 2003, there has been a policy by DOC to keep Northland free of wild deer populations reiterated by Northland Regional Council in its regional pest plans and operational plans (Speedy et al. 2016). The red deer populations are largely caused by escapes from deer farms. So long as these farms exist the removal of escapees will require ongoing management 2003). However, providing illegal liberations of other deer species can be stopped, the single sika deer population in Russell State Forest can be eradicated. This aim is the first priority for the developing Wild Deer Elimination Program for Northland.

There have been several reviews of the management of sika deer in Russell State Forest. Some were as part of the wider issue of deer management in Northland. However, a recent report focused on the sika herd with the aim to eradicate it. Funding priorities have changed with extra resources committed that has allowed a new dedicated team to be established. Subsequent developments have been (a) more clarity on the eradication project across lands of all tenures, (b) some successful local trials of aerial culling, and (c) the development of new tools to detect and kill deer, such as thermal imaging and DNA techniques, that have worked for eradication projects in other deer species but can now be applied to sika deer (Eogene 2023).

Project Deliverables
• Undertake eradication of Sika deer in an effective and efficient manner within two years of commencement of operations.
• This is a two-year contract with the first 12 months from commencement date, to remove most or all sika deer from the project area in that 12 month period and the following 12 months to locate and eliminate any surviving animals.

A response template will be attached by under addenda Friday 25th August to assist in your tender submission.
Final copy Sika Report 22 March-Final Version placed in Addenda file.

Status Closed
Closed 20 Oct 2023 5:00 PM NZDT
Reference 27912047
Notice Type Request for Proposals (RFP)
Regions Northland
Contact Details Grant MacPherson
027 226 6965
Published 25 Aug 2023 11:00 AM NZST

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