An operation to control introduced pest animals that compete with our native animals for food and which predate on native wildlife will commence from Monday 10 February (weather permitting).

The operation will initially take place in fire-affected and adjacent public land in the Mount Buffalo National Park and the western side of the Alpine National Park. This is an immediate response action under the Victorian Government’s biodiversity bushfire response program, to give native plants and animals the best chance of survival following the bushfires.

The aerial shooting operation will target large introduced herbivores – deer, feral goats, feral pigs - and introduced predators - foxes and feral cats - in priority areas to protect threatened plants and animals of most immediate concern from localised or species level extinction.

Pest herbivores reduce the ability of native plants to regrow after fire, spread weeds and significantly damage native vegetation and critical habitat by grazing, trampling on vegetation, rubbing against trees and wallowing. Burnt landscapes provide less shelter for native animals, leaving them exposed and vunerable to introduced predators who increase by five times the normal amount in fire-affected areas.

The operation will be carried out by highly qualified and experienced pilots and shooters under strict conditions, designed to ensure that it is safe, effective and humane. The operation will only be delivered in areas of Parks Victoria and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) managed land which are already closed to the public due to the fires. The community are reminded to stay out of closed areas until advised they are safe and open again. During the aerial operation people may see a helicopter and be able to hear gunshots.

For media enquiries about the Victorian Government’s biodiversity bushfire response program, contact the DELWP Media Centre on

Page last updated: 27/07/20