2016 duck-shooting season: a bad decision

To: 'Burnice Starkey' <>, "" <>
Subject: 2016 duck-shooting season: a bad decision
From: Peter Shute <>
Date: Mon, 8 Feb 2016 20:51:23 +0000
There's an interesting document here about the evidence considered before 
deciding on the duck season:

Reading that, you'd think they could only decide to abandon it. There are 
several mentions of " Adaptively regulated duck hunting", and it appears that 
the bag limit reduction is what they're adapting this year - 8 first day, 4 a 
day after that, compared to 10 and 5 last year. Last year they could take 2 
shoveler on opening day, 1 a day after that. This year they can't take any. I 
wouldn't know what effect that will have, but they note:
"For the 2015 season, the total seasonal harvest was 53% of the long-term 
average, average seasonal harvest per hunter was 50% of the average, average 
days hunted per hunter was 60% of the average and total hunter days was 66% of 
the average. It is not possible to separate out if the reduced bag limit or the 
reduced  environmental conditions individually or in combination caused the 
in harvest and hunter participation."

It'll be interesting to see how the "harvest" estimate compares this year.

Peter Shute

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Birding-Aus  On Behalf
> Of Burnice Starkey
> Sent: Sunday, 7 February 2016 9:44 AM
> To: 
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] 2016 duck-shooting season: a bad decision
> Dear Birders,
> 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:
> Victoria
> Premier Daniel Andrews
> Email: 
> Phone: (03) 9651 5000
> South Australia
> Premier Jay Weatherill
> Email: 
> Phone: (08) 8463 3166
> Tasmania
> Premier Will Hodgman
> Email: 
> Phone: (03) 6165 7830
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