Current projects

Reducing the impacts of Sambar deer in the ACT's Ramsar site – the Ginini Flats Wetlands Complex

Sambar deer impacts to the sub-alpine bogs and fens of the ACT

Deer amongst grass and trees The ACT contains a number of Sphagnum Bogs and Associated Fens, a Threatened Ecological Community in Australia.

Ginini Flats Wetland Complex in the Upper Cotter Catchment in Namadgi National Park, is the largest intact Sphagnum Bog and Fen community in the Australian Alps and is listed as a Ramsar Wetland of international importance. Ginini Flats is the northernmost limit of this community in Australia, provides important habitat for a diverse assemblage of flora and fauna, including the Nationally Threatened Northern Corroboree Frog and performs important ecological services such as the supply of high quality drinking water for Canberra.

In 2017 the Ginini Flats Wetland Complex Ramsar Site Management Plan was prepared, aiming to avoid or minimise the impact of threats to the wetland.

Sambar deer, an introduced species to Australia, present an emerging threat to the ACT as they are being observed in increasing numbers and beginning to pose a risk to alpine bogs and fens, including Ginini Flats. This habitat type is highly sensitive to impacts from invasive species, particularly disturbance caused by deer. Sambar have heavily impacted alpine areas in Victoria, particularly in wet areas such as bogs and fens, with impacts including browsing, grazing, antler rubbing, trampling, track creation and wallowing. The incursion of Sambar into the sub-alpine bogs and fens of the ACT is likely to lead to similar impacts which would be detrimental to these habitats and associated flora and fauna and heavily impact on the supply of water to Canberra.

Protecting Ginini Flats Wetlands from Sambar deer

Over the next five years, up to $600 000 in funding will be available to work with experts from across Australia to develop and implement a best-practice control trial for Sambar in the ACT, thereby protecting the Ginini Flats Ramsar site.

This project will have implications beyond the Ramsar site. Learnings from the project will guide management across the full mosaic of Alpine Sphagnum Bogs and Associated Fens in the Upper Cotter Catchment in the ACT. Future implementation of the control and monitoring plan will lead to improved condition of the EPBC Threatened Community of Alpine Sphagnum Bogs and Associated Fens.

Project partners

Under the Australian Government’s Landcare Program Phase 2, the ACT Government will deliver this project jointly between ACT Natural Resource Management Programs, Parks and Conservation Service, Rural Services and Conservation Research.

For additional information, please phone ACT Rural Services and Natural Resource Protection on 02 6207 2135.