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