Their survival hangs in the balance
Many wetlands are still recovering from catastrophic drought, despite more recent heavy rainfall. According to the Aerial Survey of Waterbirds in Eastern Australia, waterbird populations have not bounced back, and are down year on year. Devastatingly, ‘game’ bird numbers are the 3rd lowest in 39 years. The last thing they need now is to be shot in the name of recreation.
Extreme environmental conditions in 2019 and 2020 drove rare waterbirds south in search of drought refuge – putting them directly in the line of fire of Victorian shooters. Tragically, the Andrews Government still approved a brutal 2021 season, even though 5 out of 8 ‘game’ species were found to be in significant long-term decline. These species are still at risk, yet another season of shooting is on the cards.
On top of this, the body tasked with managing the duck shooting season in Victoria is failing to consider the implications of global warming – which will continue to impact the habitats of waterbirds and as a result, jeopardise their future.