Duck hunters are reminded to brush-up on their identification skills or risk fines of more than $37000 for shooting a threatened species ahead of the launch of the duck hunting season on Saturday.
Bag limits have been set at 10 birds per person per day, while low numbers of the blue-winged shoveler mean it has been removed from the hunting list and cannot be hunted.
Game Management Authority chief executive officer Grey Hyams said he encouraged hunters to use the resources available to ensure their identification skills were up to scratch.
‘‘Small numbers of rare and threatened species are scattered throughout the state and hunters should be on the lookout and take the time to positively identify their target,’’ Mr Hyams said.
‘‘The Duck WISE video has valuable information on how to accurately distinguish game from non-game species, including how to identify key characteristics that set game species apart.’’
Seven of the eight species of game duck can be hunted in the upcoming season, with Pacific black duck, mountain duck, chestnut teal, grey teal, pink-eared duck, wood duck and hardhead all able to be hunted.
My Hyams said hunters must be sure they have identified the duck correctly before they pull the trigger, or face a costly lesson.
‘‘The illegal shooting of threatened species can put pressure on populations and hunters can incur a fine of more than $37000, up to two years’ imprisonment, or both.’’
■The duck season will open on Saturday, March 18 and end on Monday, June 12.
■Bird identification resources can be found on the GMA website at: www.gma.vic.gov.au