Due to significant drying of wetlands and reductions of waterfowl numbers in the eastern states, the South Australian duck and quail open seasons will be restricted in 2015.
The duck hunting season will open on Saturday, 14 February 2015 and close on Sunday, 28 June 2015. There will be a total bag limit of 10 ducks per hunter, per day.
Sustainability, Environment and Conservation Minister Ian Hunter said the length of the hunting season and the bag limits were based on research into environmental conditions and waterfowl numbers across South Australia and the South-East of the country.
“Good climatic conditions along the Riverland, the Coorong and Southeast in 2014 have provided habitat for nomadic ducks travelling in from across eastern Australia,” Mr Hunter said.
“The blue-winged shoveler will be excluded from the game list in 2015 because it remains a species of concern to the conservation and hunting community, despite showing an increase in numbers in recent years.
“Hardhead ducks will also be excluded from the game list because data shows that populations are below levels that would support sustainable hunting.”
The quail hunting season will be open across the state from Saturday, 4 April 2015 until Sunday, 30 August 2015, with a bag limit of 25 stubble quail per hunter, per day.
There will be no hunting in Bool Lagoon Game Reserve or Bucks Lake Game Reserve due to environmental conditions.
Mr Hunter said the decision to allow hunting had been based on scientific research and consultation with stakeholder groups, including hunting and conservation organisations, national parks and the Wildlife Council.
“The consultation process considered evidence of the distribution and abundance of waterfowl in various habitats,” Mr Hunter said.
“Based on the recommendations of that consultation process, I consider that a reduced bag limit for the duck season is sustainable in 2015.”
South Australian legislation allows for properly managed and regulated game bird hunting by licensed shooters.
In recent years, firearms legislation has been changed and hunting regulations have been tightened to ensure all duck hunters meet stringent conditions, including passing a waterfowl identification test, using non-toxic shot and complying with the Standards for the Humane Destruction of Birds by Shooting.
All hunters with a current open-season endorsed hunting permit are accredited under this system.