Mag­pie goose sea­son

North­ern Ter­ri­tory Field & Game has been left flat by the an­nounce­ment of the 2018 Mag­pie Goose Sea­son.

Field and Game - - FGA BRANCH NEWS -

The 2017 sea­son was se­verely cur­tailed with a three-bird limit and a short eightweek sea­son, but equally dis­ap­point­ing was the lack of con­sul­ta­tion with hun­ters.

This year, at a se­ries of high-level meet­ings, hun­ters put the case for a three­month sea­son with a seven-bird daily limit.

NT Min­is­ter for En­vi­ron­ment and Nat­u­ral Re­sources Eva Lawler in­stead an­nounced a 13-week Wa­ter­fowl Sea­son (October 1, 2018 to Jan­uary 2, 2019) with a daily bag limit of five Mag­pie geese.

The bag limit for ducks will re­main un­changed at 10 per day. “Our en­vi­ron­ment is one of our great­est as­sets and we need to en­sure we are man­ag­ing it well for this and fu­ture gen­er­a­tions. That in­cludes pro­tect­ing and en­sur­ing sus­tain­abil­ity of our na­tive wildlife,” Ms Lawler said. “This year’s wa­ter­fowl sur­vey shows Mag­pie geese num­bers have in­creased af­ter hit­ting record low pop­u­la­tion num­bers and with ongoing care­ful man­age­ment along­side favourable sea­sonal con­di­tions, we ex­pect num­bers to con­tinue to re­cover in fu­ture years.”

The Min­is­ter thanked hun­ters for “… en­gag­ing so con­struc­tively in this process.” “We have agreed to con­tinue the con­sul­ta­tive process and, af­ter this sea­son, the pri­or­ity will be up­dat­ing the Mag­pie Goose Man­age­ment Plan, which is long over­due.”

A wa­ter­fowl sur­vey un­der­taken by the De­part­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Nat­u­ral Re­sources (DENR) in April and May this year found Mag­pie geese num­bers had in­creased by 27 per cent from last year’s record low of 725 000 to 918 000 this year.

NT Field & Game met with the De­part­ment five times and the Min­is­ter twice and was hope­ful a com­pro­mise po­si­tion of a six-bird limit would be adopted.

In the end, the limit didn’t shift from the orig­i­nal five birds rec­om­mended by DENR’S Dr Tim Clancy, lead­ing NT Field & Game spokesper­son Bart Ir­win to ques­tion the value of the con­sul­ta­tive process. “None of NT Field & Game’s rec­om­men­da­tions have been im­ple­mented,” he said. “The sin­gle ex­tra goose sought by hun­ters would have only added an­other 2500 geese to the hunter har­vest.”

Daily start and fin­ish times will be de­ter­mined fol­low­ing fur­ther con­sul­ta­tion with hun­ters, and de­tails will be avail­able at www.nt.gov.au/wa­ter­fowl

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