Following our blog 24th February, https://www.regionalvictoriansotds.com/single-post/2019/02/24/20-Days-to-Open-Fire-on-Victorias-Native-Waterbirds, more articles about the popularity and success of birding around the world are hitting the airwaves.
Rudely awoken by gunshots at 6.25am on Sunday (thankfully this season has been far quieter with far fewer shooters around) wondering how on earth the shooters could see what they were shooting at, our spirits were lifted by reading an article.
"Soar high by sighting highest number of bird species" published in the Borneo Bulletin reports on how the community is leveraging the popularity of birdwatching.
"In terms of economic contribution, bird-watching contributes towards sustainable tourism; in the United States it generated around USD 32 billion from over 65 million birdwatchers in 2010 (more recent economic studies report over $41 billon -The Daily Beast 18/1/19) and Scotland calculated between USD 8 million to USD 12 million spent annually by tourists wishing to see White-tailed Eagles on the Isle of Mull alone, with 4 percent of the jobs in Scotland associated with wildlife tourism". (Mohd Jeffrey, Tourism Officer at the Tourism Development Department.)
This is a foreword thinking department who have realised the value of "approximately 500,000 Asian Bird Fraternity networks" including 47,000 members just in the Wild Bird Society of Japan.
Here in Victoria, the possibilities for our rural communities around waterways including those Internationally recognised for environmental significance, are endless. Home to rare and threatened species of native waterbirds, many unique to our country, these wetlands are a thriving nature based tourism mecca waiting to be given the chance to flourish.
Goodness knows our precious birdlife, our rural economies -and our Sunday sleep-ins - can only benefit from replacing bird shooting, with bird watching.
Bring it on.
Pictures from left to right; White-faced Heron and Musk Duck, unique to Australia, courtesy Dorith Callander, Chestnut Teal, unique to Australia, courtesy Eleanor Dilley.