Field & Game Australia thanks the South Australia government for its timely announcement regarding the states 2020 Duck Season and is pleased that South Australian hunters can begin preparing over the holidays.
FGA chair Peter Hawker said it was hardly a surprise a season was announced given the discussions between hunting associations and the state government based on the sound principles of game management.
“Yes, the season may disappoint some, but we need to look at long term outcomes to be able to sustainably harvest ducks well into the future,” Mr Hawker said.
“It will rain again, waterfowl will breed, and seasons will return to normal provided we are united with the common cause of conservation.
“We need to protect and improve habitat for all to enjoy within the community.”
Waterfowl hunters in South Australia have demonstrated over many years that they will foster the conservation and restoration of wetlands on private and public land.
Bool Lagoon is a classic example and by no means an isolated one in conserving habitat.
“Forward forecasts suggest that we will have a long hot summer, which will no doubt influence local bird populations,” Mr Hawker said.
“In line with drought conditions across the Eastern Seaboard and South Australia, the South Australian government has made the final call.
“The most important aspect is that there is a season – compared to no season at all – for duck hunters.”
Mr Hawker nonetheless expressed concern about bird counts and season setting process and the impact on the state government's thinking regarding species viability.
"It appears birds like the mountain duck (Australian shelduck) and pink-eared duck are misrepresented, based on changes to the farming landscape for mountain duck and the significant breeding capacity of the pink-eared duck being overlooked," he said.
“If allowed to continue, these flaws have implications for future season determinations.
“More work needs to be done in the education process with our friends in South Australia, with the department and with the government,” Mr Hawker said.
The season will run over 10 weeks from Saturday, March 28 to Sunday, May 31, 2020. There will be a bag limit of four birds per day including no more than one of the Australian shelduck or the pink-eared duck. There will be no quail season.
A species restriction will apply to 2020 with only the grey teal, chestnut teal, pacific black duck, Australian shelduck, maned duck and pink-eared duck available for harvest.
Further date and time restrictions are applicable to Chowilla, Moorook and Loch Luna Game Reserves.
For more information on the 2020 South Australian duck season click here.