The number of mallard duck have dropped Neil and other hunters in New Zealand, link the drop in number to the introduce of the lead ban and having to use steel shot. In New Zealand they have a bag limit and the theory is that hunters are shooting more cartridges for the same bag limit, leaving wound birds not picked up. Ian the gun
P O Box 188 2/7/15
The Minister of Conservation
Thank you for your letter of June 23rd. I was pleased to read that the NZ Fish & Game Council is now aware of the mallard problem and that steps are being taken by the Council to help the mallard recovery.
However, the reasons for the dramatic decline of mallards have already been well documented – starting in September 2012, with the “MALLARD DEMISE” article published in NZ GUNS & HUNTING – and no ‘rocket-science’ was/is needed.
Remembering that many duck hunter are the country’s leading waterfowl & wetland conservationists what is needed is just 5 strokes of your Ministerial pen to turn the whole problem around – with the following recommendations being mandatory for all Fish & Game Council regions:
- AN IMMEDIATE RESTRICTION ON MAGAZINE CAPACITY OF SEMI-AUTO & PUMP ACTION SHOTGUNS – Magazines should be restricted to two cartridges only
- AN IMMEDIATE RETURN TO LEAD SHOT IN ALL GAUGES – THIS IS ESSENTIAL IF THE MALLARD IS TO SURVIVE AS A GAMEBIRD – Steel increases the percentage of birds not recovered from 7% with lead shot to between 30 & 90% – according to the USA’s Humane Society peer reviewed research.
I’ve enclosed a copy of the high profile UK’s Countryside Alliance publication on lead
in the environment – this shows that many commonly eaten vegetables contain
elements of lead; none of which has come from lead shot! And, as has already been
determined – no bird or animal has ever died – anywhere in the world – from
ingesting lead shot! And recently there has been significant pro-lead shot/lead
projectile support in three western-bloc countries – Norway, Australia & Austria are
apparent. Eastern-bloc countries do not have a problem with lead!
NZ First also has no problem with the use of lead shot for game bird hunting!
- AN IMMEDIATE REDUCTION IN BAG LIMITS – Should be reduced in all regions to no more than 3 per day – until mallard numbers have fully recovered.
- AN IMMEDIATE REDUCTION IN THE LENGTH OF THE MALLARD HUNTING SEASON – The season should start on the first Saturday in May and end on Monday of Queen’s Birthday
- A BAN ON POND FEEDING TWO MONTHS PRIOR TO OPENING DAY
What is also needed is your input towards a significant improvement in the directional ‘control’ that the NZ Fish & Game Council has over Regional F&G Council’s. Quite obviously in a situation which threatens the very survival of the mallards, as well as the Fish & Game structure, no regional group should be allowed to operate under separate conditions; because mallards widely disperse throughout the country and mallards do not respect regional boundaries – this makes a nonsense of regulations where such extreme regulatory discrepancies exist!
Such a move is also an essential ingredient towards raising the degenerating profile of the Fish & Game structure!
In addition, having just woken up to the fact that predators kill ducks, the NZ Fish & Game National Council needs to actively promote the trapping and elimination of predators in and around wetlands.
In this modern age the term “Peer Reviewed’ is meaningless nonsense – this has been well documented by one of the few ‘honest researchers’ John Reid:
“There are issues concerning the way science and scientists are perceived by the public and themselves.
Why is it that science always gets it right, that only industry is capable of wrecking the environment?
There are issues about the unholy alliance between environmental scientists on the government payroll and environmental activists and lobby groups acting politically.
There are issues about the way scientists continue to produce environmental ‘threats’ which have proven so useful in maintaining projects’ funding.”
In other words – find solutions to a problem that support the philosophy of those funding the project! In respect of NZ Fish & Game any ‘peer review’ in regard to solving the mallard problem must be carried out by totally independent experts!
You might also like to ask the NZ Fish & Came Council why it does not support the captive breeding of mallards. After all, mallards were established in New Zealand through captive breeding – and may well need to be re-established with the aid of captive breeding! In this respect I’ve attached a brief article on the subject – an article published in 2013 that briefly details the history of the mallard in New Zealand. Also enclosed is a copy of the only independent New Zealand research on mallards ingesting lead shot; this determined that mallards ingesting lead shot do not die from the experience!
Quite recently I spent an hour with Alastair Scott MP – discussing this very topic. Why not get Alastair to bring you over to the Wairarapa and we’ll give you ‘the guided tour’?
As I mentioned in my letter of May 2nd – if you need independent expert advice on wetlands and waterfowl please do not hesitate to contact myself or Bud Jones QSM – instead of Fish & Game.
We are also happy to call and see you at any time.
Neil Hayes QSM CEnv FRSA PhD FNZIM MCGI
ENCLOSED: “SAVING THE MALLARD” Neil Hayes
“A CASE FOR LEAD” – COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE
“FISH & GAME & THE STEEL SHOT FIASCO” Murray Dench
A GRAPH SHOWING THE DEMISE OF MALLARDS BETWEEN 2004 & 2015 AT
THREE WAIRARAPA WETLANDS