A full recreational native quail shooting season in Victoria has been quietly announced to shooters.
Field and Game Australia (FGA) news (dated 22 Jan 2020) announced the full season (4 April to 30 June) for shooting of the native Stubble Quail with a daily bag limit of 20 per shooter. But who's checking?
As unprecedented fires still rage, predicted to continue through March,
long term affects on surviving wildlife of smoke in the air and ash in the water are unknown.
Over a billion birds and animals are already dead and there are growing threats of extinctions. An outpouring of support locally and Internationally from people and organisations shows how valuable our wildlife are.
Hence the decision to allow struggling wildlife to be shot for recreation is both shocking and appalling.
It is disappointing that FGA – who call themselves conservationists – see this as a good outcome given the environmental circumstances - they themselves admit the lack of data surrounding bird numbers.
No accuracy tests are required to shoot quail. Sadly, there is a critically endangered species that closely resembles a quail - the Plains Wanderer.
According to DELWP, fewer than 1000 of these birds remain in the wild and "Innovative software is finding the song of the critically endangered plains wanderer in a bid to save the bird from extinction". (July 2019)
The decision to allow recreational quail shooting benefits a minority – less than half of one percent who shoot our native birds. At the same time it shows a lack of regard for the vast majority of the population who are opposed, particularly rural who live with the impacts. As yet, no risk assessments have been done as to the impacts of shooting on families living nearby, tourism, or the growing numbers of the public interested in nature activities like bushwalking or birdwatching.
The noise, litter and cruelty will continue among the regional residents, as per duck shooting. And unmonitored shooting of animals in public areas will deter visitors trying to support the bush.
With the success of Winton Wetlands - where they shoot with cameras - going from strength to strength, many people may be asking who is really running our state everywhere else?
FGA continue to push for a native duck recreational shooting season in Victoria for which an announcement is due shortly. Perhaps we should watch the FGA website for that one too.
Picture, the rare Plains Wanderer, featured on DEWLPs website in their article "Tracking the elusive Plains Wandered July 2019".