Shooting in NPs

To: Graeme Stevens <>
Subject: Shooting in NPs
From: Ian May <>
Date: Sun, 14 Jun 2009 14:01:58 +1000
I suppose when they grow up using a rifle to shoot grey fantails blue wrens and willy wagtails, sporting shooters must eventually become skilled marksmen.

Graeme Stevens wrote:

Sound point Ross and to make the assumption that some, maybe many, sporting shooters are
not also conservationists is unsound. I have met many who are as appalled at 
the damage done by goats,

rabbits etc to the national estate as the most ardent subscriber to birding-aus.

Greg Clancy makes a very sound point on why uncontrolled shooting should not be 
permitted in National Parks,

especially on public safety grounds, but controlled culling by skilled marksmen 
is a different issue and may satisfy multiple


It seems to me that the "elephant in the room" as the saying goes, is that it 
has terrific political and electoral appeal to

dedicate new National Parks, often for the best of reasons, but it is not 
necessarily followed up with the resources to manage them. As a result, they 
can become fabulous reservoirs for feral animals and noxious weeds - ask any 
adjoining landholder.

I could provide a few pointed examples from goats to blackberry.

All a question of balance I think and like all species, whether rabbits, 
Eastern Greys or perhaps even us, if we let the population get out of control, 
resource depletion, disease, starvation or conflict will eventually sort it out.

As I think Chris Brandis pointed out (sorry Chris if I misquote) we are already past the 
point in many situations of assuming natural systems can be left to work on their own. We 
may wish it were otherwise but we are now an integral part of the "natural 
system" and romantic notions to the contrary just wont cut it over much of our 
wonderful country. Balanced and wise intervention is the only viable option so why not 
use all resources at our disposal?

I would much rather see a National Park closed for the weekend while supervised 
members of the Sporting Shooters Association cleaned out the goats on foot (if 
they cant be economically trapped and utilised) than watch them eat eveything 
on the ground and up to the browse line, then ringbark the trees.

Please let's try not to vilify people who enjoy the natural environment and 
care for it whether they carry binoculars, rod or rifle  Never know, they may 
think our lack of balance pretty selfish from time to time?

Graeme Stevens

Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Shooting in NPs
Date: Sat, 13 Jun 2009 12:42:51 +1000

Parks Victoria actually awarded a Kookaburra Award in 2007 to the Nihill Sporting Shooters Association for their work shooting feral goats in the Little Desert NP. It's an appropriate application of hunting in national parks - controlled by the park managers, and targetted against feral pest species. Recreational hunting is not...

Ross Macfarlane

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