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starting this Saturday April 6

Above, juvenile native Stubble Quail - due to be shot for "recreation" from Saturday on private and public land across Victoria.


Gutless Blunders?


As it does when it knows an announcement is going to be unpopular, the government chose a time to make it, when it thought few would notice.


On the eve of the Easter long weekend and school holidays, Victoria’s hunting regulator quietly announced a full 2024 recreational native Stubble Quail shooting season starting this Saturday April 6.


The guns will blast for 86 days, until 30 June. Shooters can each bag up to 20 Stubble Quail per day, leaving countless others injured. Shooting is permitted in poor light conditions from 30 minutes pre-dawn until 30 minutes post-sunset.

At least last year the Minister placed some sensible restrictions on the quail shoot.


This year's unfettered slaughter of these unassuming little birds has been sanctioned by the Victorian Environment Minister Steve Dimopoulos, despite the fact;


  • no long-term population counts exist,

  • long-term harvest data shows a decline in the little bird's numbers,

  • recent counts show a 20% decline just from last year,

  • toxic lead is still legally used in quail shooting (including on food producing lands),

  • no species ID tests are required of quail shooters. Only one species of quail is allowed to be shot. It closely resembles about four others, as well as the critically endangered Plains wanderer.


Above. One of these native birds is legal to shoot for "recreation". One is a protected species. The third is critically endangered. Could you tell the difference in poor light conditions and from a distance? Shooters (who don't have to undergo any species ID tests) probably can't either.


The regulator has refused to hold stakeholder consultation regarding quail shooting. And it has refused to release any "considerations". The question is, does it have any considerations, other than "preliminary" results of a dubious quail population survey (which doesn't mention how many were actually counted)?


This announcement not only flies in the face of the Parliamentary Inquiry's key recommendation to ban recreational native bird hunting, but in the face of reason.


"When they are disturbed, they run rapidly in short bursts, only taking to flight when pressed. If they do, they take off at a very shallow angle, with a whirring noise, and will fly for only a short distance before dropping to the ground and running away again." (Museums Victoria)


Quotes by Regional Victorians Opposed to Duck Shooting inc.


“This decision is a slap in the face to anyone concerned with conservation of a native species. Many would agree, it's devoid of science, reckless and irresponsible”.


“The hunting regulator appears to have zero regard for our wildlife or regional communities. Minister Steve Dimopoulos must step in.”


“Notwithstanding the Parliamentary Inquiry which recommended the activity be banned, the best available evidence suggests there should have been a severely restricted quail shooting season, if one at all.“ 


“Every Victorian should be outraged that millions of our taxpayer dollars are being afforded this pro-hunting agency which is meant to be looking after our native species and consulting transparently with stakeholders and community."


See more alarming information concerning Victoria's quail shooting seasons in previous newsletters:



For our beautiful birds who cannot speak for themselves, and the communities who love being home to them,

Thank you for your support.



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