Australia’s native waterbirds take a pounding at this time of year. With duck hunting seasons up and running in Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia, hundreds of thousands of ducks will be killed at wetlands across south-eastern Australia between March and June. Unfortunately, every year, protected (non-game) species are killed in the crossfire.
This poses a major management problem, especially when large numbers of protected species occur at wetlands that are currently open to shooting.
When there are many protected waterfowl present in one of these wetlands, the responsible authorities can close it to shooting, even after the hunting season has opened, but they need to know about it before they can take action.
That’s where Birdata fits in. When you submit your wetland counts onto Birdata, any significant numbers of waterbirds are flagged, and the information may then be quickly passed on to the authorities.
Such information has already been instrumental in getting a number of wetlands closed in Victoria, and everyone who conducts waterfowl counts is urged to submit their results onto the Birdata website promptly to ensure we have as much up-to-date information as possible. Without it, our native waterbirds may be sitting ducks.