To: "'Chris Sanderson'" <>, <>
Subject: Shooters
From: "Graeme Gallienne" <>
Date: Thu, 14 Apr 2011 19:01:30 +1000
Hi Chris,


I totally agree with Point A in your email - we definitely don't need any
new animals introduced to our country and I'm not supporting that, nor am I
supporting the Shooters Party, I'm merely trying to get birders to see a
different side of the story. 


In relation to Point B, I think you missed my point where I said shooting in
National Parks, if ever allowed by any Government, would need to be strictly
controlled and the only shooters permitted should be specially licensed.  I
expect NPWS would have stringent rules and these would be overseen by NPWS
staff.  I'm not in favour of just any shooter having access, it would have
to be a contractor, paid per carcass produced and who undertook a rigid
examination of his ability to 1. Identify his target and 2. Hold his trigger
finger and nerve until the target has been identified - something akin to a
police sharp-shooter or army sniper. It wouldn't be their hobby/sport, it
would be their income. There are shooters out there that are that good -
international competition grade and Olympic grade.  I don't believe feral
animals can ever be eradicated either but they can be reduced and that would
give native wildlife a fighting chance.  We once had a feral dog baiting
program run by QPWS and Gold Coast City Council in our area - it didn't work
- the feral dog numbers didn't change and I later on found out that Spotted
Quolls are susceptible to 1080, the poison used, something we were not told
at the information session.  I will not support another one as Spotted Quoll
Scats have since been found at a neighbouring property in our road.  Also
for the record, we have lost 6 calves to feral dogs.


I was at a meeting yesterday on behalf of our bird club about wetlands - one
of the speakers produced a photo of a new boardwalk being used by a Swamp
Wallaby - great, we all thought.  However, the next slide he showed was of a
fox using the same boardwalk - these are the places, where there is a clear
view of the target, where a sniper type shooter would be useful.  


Point C - if sharp shooters were after feral animals - why would they be
shooting at birds?  Unless of course, they were permitted to shoot Common
Mynahs - then they would only need to be able to identify one type of bird -
if it's not a Common Mynah don't shoot it.  I am totally against duck
shooting in any form and am glad it is illegal in Queensland - it is truly
an unnecessary activity and should be banned Australia Wide but feral
animals are damaging our environment and the livelihoods of farmers.  Feral
Pigs cause massive damage to the environment by digging up pastures for
roots and leaving large bare patches where weeds such as lantana get a
foothold, wallowing in mud along waterways and dam edges causing erosion and
once more leaving areas for weeds to take root.  I can only speak from my
experiences but I spend large amounts of time trying to control the damage
caused on my property and imagine that the same damage is occurring right
across our nation.


As an ecologist, do you have a solution to the feral animals problem?






From: Chris Sanderson  
Sent: Thursday, 14 April 2011 5:10 PM
To: Graeme Gallienne
Subject: Shooters


Hi Sandra,


I definitely agree not all shooters are bad people, and I also believe you
when you say birding and shooting are not mutually exclusive.  My
grandfather co-founded the Ballandean Gun Club down near Stanthorpe, and his
wife, my grandmother, was the major influence in my life that got me into
birds and birdwatching.  That's all well and good while what you are
shooting at is a paper or clay target.  My objections start arising when I
hear things like "want to introduce new mammals like Antelope", or "want
permission to shoot in national parks", or "want to reintroduce a duck
season".  Seriously, forget for a minute we are talking about shooting and
guns, and read the subtext here from an environmental point of view.  


Point A could be better phrased as "want to introduce a new and potentially
damaging feral animal into the Australian environment" (like we really need
any more).  


Point B could be "we want an excuse to shoot in national parks, but we'll
never actually get rid of feral animals because then we won't be allowed
back in anymore".  Really, where is the incentive to actually remove ferals
from an area when they can't continue their hobby/sport if they succeed?
Assuming it could even be done, and that there wouldn't be collateral damage
through native fauna being shot accidentally (which I highly doubt is
possible on both counts).


Point C, sadly, reads as "non bird experts trying to identify birds in the
dark in a fraction of a second before pulling the trigger".  The results of
which, clearly, leave a lot to be desired currently, with Freckled Duck and
other non-target species taking a hit.


Honestly, I have no issues with people who want to shoot as a sport.  But at
non-living targets, in places not designated for the protection of wildlife,
and in ways that don't further damage our environment please.



Chris Sanderson


On Thu, Apr 14, 2011 at 2:54 PM, Graeme Gallienne <>

Hi all,

It seems to me that a lot of birders know nothing about shooters.  I do, I'm
married to one - a very responsible one!  Does the birding community know
anything about how the SSAA properties are run?  All the properties I know
of in Queensland are run as NATURE REFUGES - all native wildlife is
protected and the SSAA is happy for birders to do surveys etc on these
properties.  I know for example that Bundamba Lagoon at Ripley is on a SSAA
property and is a site that is monitored monthly by local bird clubs.

I have been to the SSAA property at Captain's Mountain (Milmerran) several
times in the past few years with "The Gold Coast Gun Club" of which my
husband is a member.  I have access to the entire property in complete
safety, the only stipulation being that I stay away from the various ranges
- all of which are for target only shooting.  In fact, if an animal such as
a Grey Kangaroo or a bird such as an emu (and yes once when I was there an
emu with 7 chicks walked onto the range) the entire shooting competition is
stopped until the animal walks off the range and is at a safe distance away
before the competition can resume.  All competitions are supervised by a
Range Officer and the rules are adhered to with every "i" dotted and "t"
crossed to the letter of the law.

The attitude of the club members to a "mad keen birder" in their presence
has slowly changed over the times I have attended.  To start with I was
somewhat of a curiosity and the butt of some jokes about greenies but the
last time I went out there (and I took a friend from my Club) (March 2011) a
lot of the shooters were even becoming interested in birds and what we were
seeing, especially the Glossy Black Cockatoos as these are a bird they've
heard about due to the GBC Conservancy efforts on the Gold Coast and GBC's
are also found on the Captains Mountain property.  In May, members of our
birding club (BrisBOCA) have been invited out for the weekend, once more
with the Gold Coast Gun Club.  The subject of duck shooting is bound to
arise but what better opportunity to change someone's viewpoint - there's
plenty of opportunity for shooting without ducks needing to be the target
and that's the message we need to get across - not one of banning
responsible shooting altogether.

It seems to me that the birding community could do more to engage with
shooters and also possibly fishermen instead of being so negative.  After
all, we are all people who enjoy the great outdoors.  Education and
friendship wins a lot more battles than criticism and judgemental attitudes
based on prejudices.   And, on the question of feral animal control - I own
a property and my husband and daughter have between them shot 16 feral pigs
and 3 feral dogs in the 11 years we have lived here - no native animals have
been harmed, a lot of my property is being allowed to return to native
vegetation and my birdlist is at 156 species, some of which are on the
Vulnerable list.  A shooter who also cares about wildlife lives here!

Shooting in National Parks is an entirely different proposition and would
need the park to be "closed" for a certain period if feral animal control
was the aim.  It would need to be strictly controlled and limited to
specially licensed shooters.


Sandra Gallienne


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