Shooting in Birdlife controlled conservation areas

Subject: Shooting in Birdlife controlled conservation areas
From: Peter Waanders <>
Date: Sat, 2 Mar 2013 19:12:13 +1030
HI all
The management committee at Gluepot has carefully considered the most
effective way of controlling goats and continues to do so under ever
increasing goat numbers coming in from surrounding properties.
Shooting from vehicles on existing tracks, while managing visitor access by
closing the areas of the reserve where shooting takes place, was considered
the preferable method as it is less intrusive on the fragile mallee soil
and undergrowth. It is undertaken only by one organisation under strict and
careful guidelines. In the past, Gluepot was a bit of a 'playground' for
locals to come and shoot goats, so we keep getting requests for access for
the purpose of recreational goat-shooting. These requests are always
rejected and hence the SA Sporting Shooters are quite keen not to loose
their privilige to shoot at Gluepot. Dates and shooting areas are always
set well in advance in consultation with the management committee. An
operating protocol exists for the entire operation. This arrangement has
been operating succesfully for a number of years now.
In the recent birding-aus discussion someone mentioned "Rounding up wild
goats is pretty easy, all you need is a good dog, a motor bike and mobile
yards, preferably near a waterhole". This would mean driving off-road and
damaging the fragile mallee soil, cryptogamic crust that binds the top
soil, and the undergrowth. Some 20 years ago there was exploration done for
gypsum - vehicles drove all over the fragile soils and these tracks are
still visible today. There are still other options being considered for
goat control; two aerial shoot were completed in the last six months. The
use of yards - mobile or permanent - requires water (hard to come by at
Gluepot) and food (which will introduce weeds). Goat mustering activities
undertaken some 15 years ago using mobile yards at one particular site
resulted in a weed infestation which, while the weeds are pretty well
eradicated, every once in a while they pop up again (certainly after good
rains). There are only 2 dams remaining at Gluepot and they are surrounded
by a large feral-proof fence. As the landscape surrounding the dams is
already heavily modified, at times the gates are left open for goats to
enter, and this is an effective method of collecting them.
It is currently being considered to construct a small number of
semi-permanent yards for the purpose of rounding up goats, but the damage
to the environment of the associated mustering activities, if they go ahead
off-tracks, will in my mind outweigh the few extra goats gained as compared
to using the existing method.
Hope this helps.
Peter Waanders
Southern Birding Services
PO Box 2008, Berri SA 5343  Australia
mob.: +61 (0)409 763172
sat.: +61 (0)424 212889
SA Birding:

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