Themed ‘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 globally.
It’s the first time the event has been held in New Zealand since Dunedin hosted the inaugural event in 1983. 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.
Jamie Ward says: “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. 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.
“We also want our visitors to have a great time and hopefully extend their stays to see more of New Zealand, so many of them are very excited already, it really is a bucket list country to visit and see ‘Their Deer Here’.”