Get Involved in Wetland and Waterbird Surveys

FGA is a hunter organisation, and we are heavily invested in conservation. We always seek science and public policy that supports better habitat for wildlife.

FGA has endeavoured to address the challenges facing wetland habitat management and sustainable hunting in Australia. Foremost of these are the recommendations made by FGA to the Victorian Game Management Authority in December 2015.

The absence of solid data and evidence around waterfowl management has moved management of hunting and wetland habitats away from facts, data and evidence. This requires a continued and an increased commitment to:

HABITAT and WATER, that creates food source, shelter and structure for breeding, and provides protection from predators.

MONITORING DUCKS to gather real insight and knowledge of our Australian waterfowl and what is required to manage a dynamic population.

A STRATEGY that supports the use of vast infrastructure dedicated to hunting and other use, and grows sustainable hunting in Australia

ADAPTIVE RESOURCE MANAGEMENT that introduces world best practice into the Australian context, supported with a simple and effective systems approach that integrates research and monitoring with management. The opportunity is here to embrace technology such as drones, remote tracking devices, game cameras, satellite imagery of hydrology. However, it is critical that the data collected is designed for the purposes it will be used for.

We’re working with government and other authorities to ensure the improvement and conservation of our wetland habitats, and best practice for sustainable hunting.

There’s no time that the challenge has been greater, with an increasingly urbanised society largely removed from the practical realities of sourcing food, and the real needs of wildlife and habitat management. Yet we also have an incredible opportunity, with access to technology to gather facts and data, and the connections to share knowledge and information.

FGA members are at the forefront of Professor Marcel Klaassen’s research into Avian Influenza Virus.

FGA is also active in building our knowledge of our wetlands habitat and our waterbirds.

In conjunction with Associate Professor Graham Hall from the University of New England, we’ve identified the key regions and wetlands to gather evidence and data on those wetlands consistently important in providing breeding habitat. This aligns with the need to develop a more cohesive approach to gathering specific data relevant to the specific purposes of game management.

Each year in spring and in summer passionate volunteers travel immeasurable kilometres surveying wetlands across south eastern Australia. Their efforts collecting data is critical, including indications of waterfowl abundance, breeding activity, and wetland health.

The 2016 surveys are about to get underway in South Australia and Victoria, filling the gaps in data available from a variety of sources.

You can be part of this invaluable effort by contacting your branch Conservation Officer, or the FGA team on (03) 5799 0960. Thanks to our volunteers who are coordinating the annual surveys across south-eastern Australia.

It’s an exciting year to get involved in our annual wetland and waterbird surveys.

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