Muntjac Symposium gathers to manage invasive species

Deer experts from all over the UK are gathering at Newcastle University to review the status of the non-native muntjac deer and to plan how to keep the North of England and Scotland free of muntjac.

The small, Chinese muntjac deer was introduced to Woburn Park at the start of the 20th century and rapidly spread into the surrounding area.

It is now a common animal across much of southern England and is spreading northwards, reportedly at a rate of 8.5 miles per year.

Muntjac deer can be extremely destructive and are notorious browsers, eating the shoots from shrubs, as well as woodland herbs and brambles. This can bring them into conflict with conservationists, foresters, farmers and gardeners.

Chairman of the British Deer Society Professor Rory Putman said “We are really pleased that this event has been organised in the north of England which is the muntjac front line and hope that government will actively help manage this invasive species”.

A spokesman for the Scottish Government said “We have a rich heritage and will work closely with our English neighbours to monitor muntjac deer”.

The British Deer Society (BDS) says it “actively promotes awareness, education, research and management best practice of UK deer species to ensure a healthy and sustainable deer population in balance with the environment; a key feature of the biodiversity of the UK landscape.”

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