‘Uniquely accessible wildlife’ helps New Zealand win international deer conference

Intellectual Capitals /  / 
Deer conference Photo Credit: Supplied

Dunedin, ‘the unofficial wildlife capital of New Zealand’ will welcome the International Deer Biology Congress 2026, for the first time since the inaugural event was held there in 1983. 

Under the theme, ‘Your Deer Here’, the conference will take place in February 2026 at the University of Otago, bringing together biologists, ecologists, veterinarians, geneticists, wildlife managers, conservationists, food, health, and production researchers to discuss the diverse aspects of deer management and biology from various perspectives. 

The winning bid was led by scientist Jamie Ward from AgResearch, with support from Deer Industry New Zealand, Enterprise Dunedin, and the Tourism New Zealand Business Events team. 

“Dunedin was chosen for its iconic legacy with this Congress, its strength in Deer Science at AgResearch’s Invermay Agricultural Centre, and the strong history of scientific excellence at Otago University, as well as a fascinating history of deer introductions, diverse landscapes and uniquely accessible wildlife,” explained Ward. “To get the news of hosting this Congress not long after we celebrated the milestone of 50 years of Deer Science at Invermay makes it even more special.

“We want to bring together the world deer science community as well as bringing together the entire New Zealand deer community which has never been done before.

“The intention is not only to showcase New Zealand and our interesting and innovative approaches to deer, but to share our ideas, techniques and technologies, learn from our international colleagues and have wide-ranging conversations on how we can work to improve all things deer globally.”

Emil Murphy, science and policy manager at Deer Industry New Zealand, added: “This win is testament to the close relationship between researchers and industry that has enabled New Zealand to be at the leading edge of deer science for the last 50 years. The congress will help build interest for deer science in New Zealand and lift the research collaborations that will advance our knowledge about deer.”

Alongside plenary sessions, presentations and poster sessions, the programme will include a Field Day tour to the Invermay Agricultural Centre and to a local commercial deer breeding farm. Visitors will also get to explore the wildlife of Otago Peninsula.

Holly Patrick
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Holly Patrick
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A desire to travel led Holly Patrick to the business meetings and events world and she’s never looked back. Holly takes a particular interest in event sustainability and creating a diverse and inclusive industry. When she’s not working, she can be found rolling skating along Brighton seafront listening to an eclectic playlist, featuring the likes of Patti Smith, Sean Paul, and Arooj Aftab.

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