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A Positive Step For Duck Hunters – Waterfowl Monitoring Boost

A Positive Step For Duck Hunters – Waterfowl Monitoring Boost

The GMA has announced that it will shortly commence a survey of game duck abundance in Victoria. This survey will be conducted through helicopter counts of 500-600 wetlands (including farm dams, sewage ponds, and wetlands) randomly selected through a survey design prepared by the Arthur Rylah Institute.


This is a pilot program which will be used to assess the survey design and methodology. This is an important step as the abundance survey will become a key input into an Adaptive Harvest Model. To be clear, this is a pilot survey to test the sampling methodology for an abundance survey that will form part of the inputs into an Adaptive Harvest Model; it is not the introduction of an Adaptive Harvest Model for the 2021 duck season.


SSAA Victoria is extremely pleased to see the commencement of a waterfowl monitoring program that will provide a much more scientifically robust and accurate estimate of Victoria’s duck numbers.


The organisation has long held the view that game management decisions should be based on science and fact – not supposition and ideology. Responsible hunters have always provided in- principal support to a science-based approach to game management. Like most things, however, the devil is in the detail and concerns were raised back in 2017 with how the proposed model was going to be implemented.


At the time, one of the Association’s biggest concerns was around the data that was to be used in the modelling. The data going into the model must be accurate and adequate, so the results coming out are valid.


The Association is pleased to see that particular concern has been addressed and that the government, through GMA and ARI, are investing significant funds into a major monitoring program in the lead-up to the 2021 season.


Another concern has been the transitional arrangements that will be put in place to determine season lengths and bag limits while the model adapts and improves over the initial years. The Association considers that there is still significant work to be done in that area and will be meeting with GMA and ARI staff in coming weeks to raise that issue.


The link below will take you to the

Design of a Monitoring Program for Game Ducks in Victoria


Further details about the monitoring and the WCHM will be provided soon. More information about Adaptive Harvest and the Waterfowl Conservation Model can be found from the 2017 information provided below.