About Us

Protecting Australia’s natural environment from pests, weeds and diseases.

Who we are

The Invasive Species Council was formed in 2002 to seek stronger laws, policies and programs to keep Australian biodiversity safe from weeds, feral animals and other invaders. Our focus is on prevention and early action.


The Invasive Species Council is a not-for-profit charitable organisation with a board, about 200 members and over 5000 supporters. The organisation is incorporated in Victoria (incorporation number A0042746C) and registered with the Australian government as a charitable institution and a tax-deductible gift recipient.

We are registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission. Click on the registered charities tick (right) to view our listing on the Charity Register.


The Invasive Species Council is part of numerous environment, biosecurity and agricultural networks. It supports land managers, environmental and community interests and many others with aligned objectives seeking to reduce the impacts of invasive species.

The Invasive Species Council is a member of the Pacific Invasives Partnership, the Places You Love Alliance, Australian Wildlife Management Society, the Australian Association of Bush Regenerators, the Weed Society of Victoria, the Nature Conservation Council of NSW, the Queensland Conservation Council, the North Queensland Conservation Council, the Cairns and Far North Environment Centre and the Conservation Council ACT Region. We are an associate member of the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions and an affiliate of the School of Biological Sciences of Monash University.

We are a founding member of the Honolulu Challenge, a global call for greater action on addressing invasive alien species to protect biodiversity and human wellbeing from their impacts. The Honolulu Challenge on Invasive Alien Species was launched at the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress in Honolulu.

The Invasive Species Council is part of the biosecurity collective, a partnership with Animal Health Australia, Plant Health Australia and the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions. We jointly support a five-point Biosecurity 2030 agenda and co-host the Australian Biosecurity Symposium. The Invasive Species Council chairs the steering group of the Decade of Biosecurity.   

We are co-founder and host of Reclaim Kosci, a broad consortium of individuals and organisations that love Kosciuszko National Park and seek to protect it from the impacts of feral horses.


Our work is funded by donations and grants from our supporters. We receive no ongoing government grants. Occasionally we may receive a small proportion of funds for our expert advice to government on a fee for service basis and fixed project grants. These funds make up between 0 and 10% of our income in any one year.

We are grateful for the generous support of the many individuals, trusts and foundations that make our work possible.

We particularly appreciate the significant ongoing support from The Ian Potter Foundation, the Mullum Trust, the Garry White Foundation, Lord Mayor’s Charitable FoundationPaddy Pallin Foundation, The Ross Trust and the Curlew Fund, a sub-fund of the Australian Communities Foundation.

We are extremely grateful for the in-kind support provided by the Royal Society of Victoria and pro bono work by Frontier Economics.

Electoral comment

Responsibility for electoral comment in Australia is by Andrew Cox, S305-60 Leicester St, Carlton Vic 3053. Comments are made on behalf of the Invasive Species Council Inc. ABN 27 101 522 829.

Topics:about ISC

Dear National Deer Management Coordinator,

Please accept this as a submission to the National Feral Deer Action Plan.

[Your personalised message will appear here] 

I am very concerned about the spread of deer and am pleased that a national plan has finally been developed. Without urgent action, funding and commitment from all levels of government it is clear that feral deer will continue to spread and damage our environment.

The feral deer population in Australia is growing rapidly and spreading across the country, damaging our natural environment, causing havoc for farmers and foresters and threatening public safety. Unlike much of the world where deer are native, our plants and wildlife haven’t evolved to deal with these heavy hard hooved animals with a voracious appetite.
With no natural predators and an ability to adapt to almost all environments, they could occupy almost all of Australia unless stopped. Despite this, state and territory governments have been slow to respond and in Victoria and Tasmania they are still protected by law for the enjoyment of hunters.

This plan should be adopted by all governments but must also be underpinned by dedicated funding and clear responsibilities. A plan without funding or accountability is a plan that will fail and Australia cannot afford for this to fail.

In order to prevent the spread of feral deer and reduce their impact on our native wildlife, ecosystems and agriculture, I ask that the following recommendations be adopted for the final National Feral Deer Action Plan:

1. All federal, state and territory governments should adopt the National Feral Deer Action Plan and declare feral deer to be a priority pest animal species.

2. All federal, state and territory governments should commit to:

  • Contain deer to the existing large population areas.
  • Reduce and eradicate smaller and isolated populations.
  • Protect important environmental assets such as world and national heritage areas.
  • Develop and fund regional plans and strategies to manage deer populations which involve land managers across all tenures.

3. In order to drive action and the success of this plan, there should be dedicated Commonwealth funding and support for:

  • A permanent national feral deer coordinator position.
  • A permanent federal feral deer action committee with representatives from the commonwealth and state and territory governments and the environmental and agricultural sectors.
  • An ongoing public education campaign on feral deer.
  • A network of regional feral deer coordinators to drive local action across tenures.

4. The expected outcomes for the plan need to be more ambitious, with clear interim targets including:

  • Within one year, all States and Territories should have in place arrangements to implement the National Feral Deer Action Plan, including allocating dedicated funding for implementation.
  • Within one year, feral deer management plans should be developed for key environmental assets of national significance, including the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, the Greater Blue Mountains, the Australian Alps, the Gondwana Rainforests and the Wet Tropics of Queensland.
  • Within five years coordinated landscape scale management should be in place where land owners, land managers, government and community are demonstrably working together.

5. A national feral deer containment map with three zones should be adopted. It should be more ambitious than the zone map in the current draft plan and there should be greater clarity in the naming of the zones. Improvements that should be adopted include:

  • Renaming the zones to better reflect the management intention to ‘Containment Zone 1’ (the current large population zone), ‘Containment Buffer Zone 2’ (the current buffer zone) and ‘Eradication and prevention Zone 3’ (the current small isolated population zone).
  • The NSW northern rivers area should be in the eradication and prevention zone as there are few feral deer currently in this region and eradicating isolated populations and preventing spread into this area is still possible.
  • The whole of South Australia should be in the eradication and prevention zone as eradication is the goal of the SA Government.
  • The Tasmanian region in the containment zone should be smaller to reflect greater ambition and potential for eradication of deer populations.
  • In eastern Victoria areas such as Wilson’s Promontory, Westernport islands and the Mornington Peninsula should be in the eradication and prevention zone.

6. There should be consistent laws and regulations across all states and territories that:

  • Recognise feral deer as a pest animal and treat them as such.
  • Establish a clear responsibility for all landholders and managers to be involved in feral deer control programs.
  • Set clear penalties to stop the wilful or negligent release of feral deer.
  • Prevent new deer farms in areas where no feral deer are present and phase out all deer farms in the eradication and prevention zone.
  • Enable enforcement of compliance, including on government land.

I support the follow principles being adopted in the final National Feral Deer Action Plan:

  • Feral deer are a pest and should be treated as such on all tenures, except on approved deer farms.
  • Federal, state and territory governments have a responsibility to fund the outcomes under this plan.
  • All land managers in areas where feral deer are present have a responsibility to be involved in feral deer control programs.
  • The focus of management efforts should be on eradication of isolated, satellite populations, protection of key environmental assets currently impacted and stopping the spread to new regions.
  • Feral deer control should be undertaken humanely, safely and professionally according to agreed protocols and all tools which meet this criteria should be adopted, including aerial control.
  • Funding for coordination, regional planning and community engagement is necessary for effective feral deer management.
  • Ongoing management and follow up control efforts are required to achieve long lasting results.
  • Rules and regulations should be consistent across jurisdictions and land tenures.
  • Recreational hunting is not an effective strategy for feral deer control and should not be relied upon.
[Your name]
[Your email address]
[Your suburb], [Your state]