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
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?
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...