World Environment Day; letter from us 2.
We form part of the 45 percent of Australia's bird species which are found nowhere else in the world (Dept. of Environment & Energy) and we need your help.
Australian native waterbirds are struggling to survive climate change and shrinking habitat, but also still forced to contend with recreational shooters in a few states. The shooting disrupts native waterbird species' natural survival patterns, killing otherwise healthy members of our populations including life long mates.
Independent professional surveys show Australian native waterbird numbers are below long term average and on a long term decline in abundance and breeding. Many "game bird" species numbers are low "by order of magnitude". (Centre of Ecosystem Science University NSW)
Australian native waterbirds need urgent protection, if not for your grandchildren's enjoyment, for your own economic benefit here and now.
Nature based tourism, with birdwatching one of it's most lucrative components, has grown faster than all other forms of tourism combined over the last five years (Tourism & Transport Forum), with the “natural environment and wildlife” consistently quoted as the main attractions.
It brought a whopping 48.2 million nature based tourist visits to other parts of our country in 2016 with National Parks and areas around them, reaping the financial rewards (Tourism Research Australia).
We did not choose to be called "game birds" or to have to distinguish between friendly photographers or men with guns intending to do our families harm.
Like you, we were born into this world and do our best to survive, going about our daily lives in peace.
Please, aim your cameras at us, not guns.
We can then do our best to smile for you for generations to come.
Recreational duck shooting is banned in NSW, ACT, QLD and NSW for reasons of cruelty, public safety concerns, declining bird numbers and a preference instead for the proven benefits of nature based tourism.
Picture Australian Wood Duck, unique to Australia, forms life long pairs.
Courtesy Eleanor Dilley.