Waterfowl and Habitat Survey
One of the most important aspects of hunting is to ensure it is sustainable. Since 1958, Field & Game Australia members have been donating their time, expertise and funds to help ensure that our wonderful native game birds remain abundant.
A large part of sustainable hunting is the collection of accurate data. Gathering estimates of bird population measures species abundance, and surveying wetlands helps identify those habitats in need of maintenance, environmental water, or other conservation efforts. There are other surveys conducted by various organisations and scientists, and Field & Game Australia’s waterfowl and habitat surveys help provide a more complete picture. One of the most commonly referenced surveys is the Eastern Australia Waterfowl Survey (also known as Kingsford); however, this survey is conducted by air and follows a specific survey path which overlooks several major wetland habitats. The limitations of the aerial survey also means that waterfowl in bushland areas or wetlands with healthy tree cover cannot be observed. Sometimes the best way to count waterfowl is to go out and get your feet wet!
In February and November each year, Field & Game Australia volunteers visit wetlands, rivers, lakes and farm dams right across Victoria to assist with waterfowl surveys. The data collected helps determine trends in waterfowl numbers and breeding patterns for the upcoming and future duck seasons.
The surveys conducted in November play a big part in the negotiations surrounding the declaration (or otherwise) of a duck season for the following year, while the February data is added to a long-running survey that provides further insight in to general waterfowl abundance.
Field & Game Australia are always looking for enthusiastic volunteers to take part in the waterfowl and habitat surveys. If you’re interested in taking part in this important activity, please contact the Field & Game Australia National Office.