Waterfowl hunting season to open 27 October

The Minister for Environment and Natural Resources, Lauren Moss, today announced the 2017 Waterfowl Hunting season dates and conditions to protect seriously depleted magpie goose numbers.

“The NT’s magpie goose population is the lowest on record at 725,000. This is a dramatic 45% reduction on 2016 and only a quarter of the 2012 population,” Minister Moss said. 

“This year’s Waterfowl Season will run for eight weeks with daily bag limits of three magpie geese. The season will commence on 27 October and run till 23 December. Bag limits for ducks will remain unchanged at 10 per day. These conditions will be reassessed prior to next season.

“The scientific research and analysis is clear - action must be taken now to allow the magpie goose population to recover. If we do not take action now there is a risk that future seasons may have to be cancelled.

“The Territory Labor Government promised that our environmental decisions would be based on science, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.

“The previous CLP government was encouraged to take firm action in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 – and either ignored the advice or put in measures that did not go far enough. Had the CLP listened to the expert scientific evidence it is possible we would not be taking the steps we are today.

“The Territory's natural environment is one of our greatest assets.  We are strongly connected to our land in many ways - it shapes our identity and gives us our unique perspective on life.  We need to ensure we are protecting and preserving our flora and fauna for this and future generations.”

“The science underpinning this decision is accurate and rigorous,” Dr Alaric Fisher, Executive Director, Flora and Fauna Division of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said.

“The decrease in magpie geese has been both rapid and alarming; action must be taken now to sustain the population of magpie geese.

“The Department of Environment and Natural Resources conducted a comprehensive and systematic aerial survey across the Top End’s floodplains in April and May this year and has estimated the 2017 magpie goose population as 725,000, just over half of what it was last year.

“The decline is largely due to a series of Wet seasons that have been unfavourable for nesting, either with well below average total rainfall, or with long periods with minimal rainfall, especially in 2012/13 and 2015/16.

All non-aboriginal waterfowl hunters are required to obtain a waterfowl hunting permit prior to hunting. Aboriginal Territorians will not be affected by these changes.

Not having a permit may result in legal action being taken against persons hunting without a permit.

Permits will only be issued from the Parks and Wildlife Commission Permits Office at Jape Homemaker Village, Millner, between the hours of 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday, or online at https://nt.gov.au/leisure/hunting-and-shooting

Applications can be submitted in person at the Permits Office, or by mail, fax or email.

Applications must be accompanied by the $20 annual fee or $80 fee for a five year permit.  Hunters need only provide their Shooter’s Licence number and Driver’s Licence number, a copy of these is not required.

You can call the Permits Office on telephone 8999 4486 for more information.

Go to https://denr.nt.gov.au/land-resource-management/magpie-goose-management for more information about this year’s aerial survey that has led to this approach.

Last updated: 24 August 2017