WIRES NSW is alarmed that the controversial decision that allows recreational hunting in our National Parks is already having a detrimental effect on our native animals. The number of incidents being reported prior to the program starting has the organisation painting a bleak picture for the future.
“National Parks have been established as sites for preservation and protection of native wildlife and habitat. This protection for our native animals came to a crashing end as soon as the recreational hunting program to control of feral species was announced”, general manager of NSW WIRES Leanne Taylor said.
“While the Government and other stakeholders continue to argue about the management of such a program, from our experience, it would unfortunately appear that the hunting has already begun!
“WIRES’ is seeing an increase in reports of fatal and non-fatal injuries by firearms to native species since the announcement of this decision. The non-fatal cases resulting in prolonged pain, suffering and eventually death,” Ms Taylor said.
WIRES spokesperson Bill Thompson said: “There have been horrific cases of baby animals being left orphaned and birds have been found alive with arrows through their bodies.
“Animals with bullets embedded in their wings or shoulders, causing extreme distress and agony. Hunters have highly variable skill levels and the adequate training of hunters to correctly identify native species is missing entirely.”
It would appear that recreational hunters are under the impression they already have the green light to shoot in National Parks.
“The pursuit of animals by inexperienced hunters can and will drive populations of non-native animals into new areas and push native animals out of their home ranges. Hunting subjects animals to fear, noise and constant chase which may also impact native animal breeding cycles and feeding patterns. It is entirely unacceptable.
“In an ideal world, WIRES should barely have to exist. Given our experience to date, this program is going to exhaust our resources significantly,” Mr Thompson said.