CANBERRA, July 8 (Xinhua) -- Allowing the hunting of deer within Tasmania's Wilderness World Heritage Area could save the forest, a report released on Saturday has found.
A parliamentary inquiry into deer population growth within the protected area found that deer were damaging conservation areas across the state.
Robert Armstrong, chairman of the committee, said that while it might be controversial, hunting within the areas was a guaranteed way to stem the rapid population growth.
"Conservation groups certainly want the deer out of World Heritage Areas," Armstrong told Australian media on Saturday.
Tasmania's Department of Primary Industries estimated that the deer population in the state could range between 80,000 and 100,000, a significant increase on previous predictions of 30,000 to 40,000.
A group of Tasmanian academics, lead by University of Tasmania (UTAS) Wildlife Conservation expert Chris Johnson, in March forecast that the deer population could reach one million by 2050 if not managed.
The committee found that expanding irrigation schemes in the state's midlands had only exacerbated problem with improved crops and pastures providing ample food for deer.
The committee called for Tasmania to implement a deer management system equipped with proper data as soon as possible.