Duck hunters lead the way to protect wetlands

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This being World Wetlands Day, let us also recognise the conservation efforts of Victorian duck hunters to protect the state’s wetlands. This year marks the 60th anniversary of Field and Game Australia, which formed in response duck hunters’ concerns about the degradation of wetlands habitats for ducks in the mid-1950s.

It was hunters who lobbied for the introduction of hunting licences, which raised money that the Government of the day used for research and the purchase of wetland habitats across the state. Many of these wetlands are today protected and maintained by hunters as Game Reserves and several are recognised as internationally significant waterways as Ramsar sites.

Some of the Victorian wetlands that have benefitted from hunter-led conservation since 1958 include:

Hird Swamp (Ramsar-listed, part of the Kerang Wetlands)
Johnson Swamp (Ramsar-listed, part of the Kerang Wetlands)
Dowd Morass (Ramsar-listed, part of the Gippsland Lakes)
Reedy Lake (Nagambie)
Kanyapella Basin (near Echuca)
Lake Borrie (Ramsar-listed, part of the Port Phillip Bay Western Shoreline, and Bellarine Peninsula)
Reedy Lake (Geelong – Ramsar-listed, part of the Port Phillip Bay Western Shoreline, and Bellarine Peninsula)
Macleod Morass (near Bairnsdale)
Hospital Swamp (Geelong)
Tower Hill (Warrnambool)
Lake Eppalock (near Bendigo)
Loveday Wetlands Complex (South Australia)
Gunbower Island and Gunbower Forest (Ramsar-listed, near Kerang)
Gaynors Swamp (near Rochester)
Lake Buloke (near Donald)
Harrison Dam (Northern Territory)
Lake Wellington (Sale)
Jack Smith Lake (Sale)
Heart Morass and Sale Common (Sale)
Emu Plains Reserve (Balnarring)
Pyramid Creek Swamp
Murtnaghurt Lagoon (near Geelong)
Lake Eppalock (Bendigo)
Hawkstowe Park (Epping)
Plenty Gorge Park (Epping)

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