In a recent eNewsletter, I read the following.
"With much of south-eastern Australia in drought, duck populations across
Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania have flocked to the few remaining
wetlands still holding water to seek refuge from the dry conditions.
As so many wetlands are now dry, and with nowhere else to go, ducks and other
wetland birds have been forced to become concentrated at a few key wetlands.
Apart from ‘game species’ of ducks, other waterbirds seeking a safe haven
include several threatened species, such as Freckled Ducks, Australasian
Bitterns, Australian Painted Snipe and Brolgas.
Despite being aware of the effects of the ongoing drought, the governments of
Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania have all bowed to pressure from the
shooters and approved a duck-shooting season for 2016.
BirdLife Australia has condemned the decisions of the three state governments.
It is reckless to declare a duck-shooting season, a declaration that ignores
all of the expert scientific evidence.
“A duck-shooting season should never have been declared this year,” said Dr
Jenny Lau, Conservation Manager at BirdLife Australia. “In Victoria, the
duck-shooting seasons were called off in both 2007 and 2008 due to
environmental concerns during similar droughts, and the wetland conditions are
worse this year than they were back then.”
In Victoria at least, one of the government’s own criteria for closing wetlands
to shooters is the need to provide refuge for waterbirds during drought
periods. According to the evidence, now is the time to close them.
In previous duck-shooting seasons, official Government figures have shown that
hundreds of thousands of ‘game’ species of ducks are killed each year in
Victoria alone (not counting those birds that are wounded and die later on),
but what they don’t show is the degree of disturbance of non-target species. "
If you feel passionately about this, please feel free to contact the premiers
of Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania to let them know:
Premier Daniel Andrews
Phone: (03) 9651 5000
Premier Jay Weatherill
Phone: (08) 8463 3166
Premier Will Hodgman
Phone: (03) 6165 7830
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