Jacqui Panozzo

Faculty of Science and Technology, School of Applied and Biomedical Sciences

Oh deer! The difficulties of collecting samples from over one million animals

Wild deer are now a significant part of the Victorian landscape with some estimates suggesting that there may be over one million wild deer in the state. Deer belong to the same family as cattle and sheep, and as they are closely related species, diseases can be shared between wild deer and farmed animals. Research overseas has shown that this is possible, however, no research has been conducted in Victoria despite the large population of wild deer in the state. This research focusses on worm parasites and aims to discover if Victorian wild deer carry worm parasites that cause disease in cattle and sheep. The presence and identification of worm parasites in wild deer was determined by analysing deer scat (faecal) samples. One major part of this PhD research was the collection of deer scat samples from the field, from deer hunters and from culls of deer organised by Parks Victoria. This presentation will describe the difficulties faced when organising sample collection, either in the field or from hunters.

Jacqui Panozzo is supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Stipend and RTP Fee-Offset Scholarship through Federation University Australia.