2020 Waterfowl Hunting Season

Minister for Environment and Natural Resources, Eva Lawler, today announced the dates and conditions for this year’s 15 week waterfowl hunting season.

The 2020 recreational waterfowl hunting season will start on Wednesday, 23 September 2020 and end on Monday, 4 January 2021.

The upcoming season will have the same daily bag limit as last season, of seven magpie geese and 10 ducks per person per day.

Permitted waterfowl hunting on private land, primarily for pest mitigation, can commence on Monday, 17 August 2020.

The Territory Labor Government released its Wildlife Management Program for the Magpie Goose in the Northern Territory of Australia 2020-2030 in April this year, which aims to protect and conserve the species whilst allowing for its sustainable use.

The Management Program, based on scientific research, ensures the annual waterfowl season is sustainable for the long-term benefit of all, including hunters, residents, tourists and tourism operators.

An aerial survey across the Top End’s floodplains from the Moyle River to Arnhem Land in May and June this year has estimated the 2020 Magpie Goose population as 1,432,905 magpie geese, which is a small (3%) decrease on last year’s estimate.

Hunters are required to have a waterfowl hunting permit.

Hunters in possession of a valid waterfowl permit can hunt on:

  • Parks, Wildlife and Heritage hunting reserves (Lambells Lagoon Conservation Reserve and Howard Springs Hunting Reserve until 23 December 2020; and Shoal Bay Coastal Reserve and Harrison Dam Conservation Reserve until 4 January 2021);
  • Designated Crown Land provided you also have a permit issued by the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics; and
  • Private property (which includes Aboriginal land) if you have the prior written permission of the landholder and can meet the setback conditions under the Firearms Act from 17 August 2020 to 4 January 2021.

As noted by Minister for Environment and Natural Resources, Eva Lawler.

“Our natural environment is part of our great Territory lifestyle and we need to maintain it for future generations, so our children and grandchildren can have the opportunities we have today.

“This is why we are taking steps to ensure the conservation and sustainability of our waterfowl population – basing our decisions on science and listening to the experts.

“This is a stark contrast to the previous CLP Government, whose ministers went against expert advice for four years, putting the magpie goose population at risk, and who now want to review our newly released management program — they can’t be trusted to protect our environment.

“We will continue to work closely with recreational hunters, residents and tourism operators to ensure the ongoing conservation and sustainability of the Territory’s waterfowl population.

“Waterfowl hunters will be excited to hear work is well progressed into identifying a new hunting reserve.”

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