THE SIX NATIVE WATERBIRDS CLASSIFIED AS SO-CALLED ‘GAME’ SPECIES WHICH CAN LEGALLY BE SHOT BY RECREATIONAL DUCK SHOOTERS IN VICTORIA
Although all native birds are protected by law, for three months annually (usually commencing in late March) six species of our beautiful sentient Australian native waterbirds are classified as ‘game’ and can be legally shot and abused in Victoria, purely for recreational purposes.
Climate change and overshooting have already forced two species of once plentiful native waterbirds, the Australasian Blue-winged Shoveler and the Hardhead, to be removed from the shooters game list and declared threatened species.
Other so-called game species presently on the duck shooters hit list, especially Chestnut Teal and Pink-eared ducks, will also need to be removed from the game list and declared threatened.
The mistake that governments continue to make is that instead of respecting and protecting Australia’s magnificent native waterbirds when their numbers are plentiful – they wait until shooters have reduced the numbers to the point where species need to be declared threatened. And a process then begins where millions of dollars will be spent to save the species from extinction.
Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa)
Grey Teal (Anas gracilis)
Chestnut Teal (Anas castanea)
Pink-eared Duck (Malacorhynchus membranaceus)
Mountain Duck or Shelduck (Tadorna tadornoides)
Australian Wood Duck (Chenonetta jubata)
Blue-winged Shoveler or Australasian Shoveler (Anas rhynchotis)
The numbers of Blue-winged Shovelers have steadily declined since the early 2000s and the species was periodically removed, but then reinstated on the so-called ‘game’ list (in order to keep the shooters happy). However, in 2022 their numbers had dropped to such an extent that the species was finally declared ‘vulnerable’ on the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 – Threatened List. Blue-winged Shovelers are now permanently protected and have been removed from the ‘game’ list.
Hardhead duck (Aythya australis)
In 2022 the Hardhead duck was also declared a vulnerable species and removed from the game list.