Former leader of the Australian Greens party Bob Brown is urging the Tasmania government to start shooting wild deer from helicopters in order to save wilderness heritage areas from millions of dollars' worth of damage.
"Helicopter culling is a best available option for Tasmania."
Brown also recommends deer farms be banned and goats be controlled.
“The impending ecological catastrophe of fallow deer invading prime forested areas of Tasmanian wilderness warrants urgent action and an independent agency to institute and maintain protection from this threat.”
His aerial culling plan aims to roll back the spread of deer and remove fallow deer from the "state's northwest and south as a matter of urgency".
If the state government doesn't act swiftly, Brown estimates it could cost the state and federal government millions of dollars each year to reverse the damage to the wilderness.
"This invasion can be stopped in 2016 but will be irreversible in 2026."
The feral deer population in Tasmania is estimated to be more than 40,000, and the University of Tasmania says that number could hit more than 1 million by 2050 if nothing is done.
Alice Workman is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Canberra.
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