Australian shooters face a duck ban, because Australian scientists are too incompetent to find any duck.
The nation’s key waterbird survey, the Eastern Australian Waterbird survey, shows how drought has drained eastern Australia wetlands of water and bird life. Waterbird survey team co-ordinator Professor Richard Kingsford says: “I don’t know where the birds are.”
However, shooters say the birds have not died – they have moved to farmer’s dams (ponds) and to the seashore. Geelong Field and Game reports on Facebook: “In recent weeks we have located significant numbers of game birds on dams. With over 450,000 dams in Victoria there is certainly no shortage of habitat.”
Geelong is among a number of Australian duckshooting groups posting with the hashtag #weknowwheretheducksare, many of them poking fun at Field & Game chief executive Richard Light. Behind the fun is anger that Kingsland believes the ducks are dead. He says: “I think during these long dry periods a lot of them die.”
Sporting Shooters Association of Australia Victoria is downplaying the importance of the survey. SSAA Vic hunting development manager David Laird said the survey was “not an appropriate tool to predict game duck populations in Victoria during the hunting season”.
The last time duck season was cancelled was in 2007 and 2008, during the millennium drought.