Emily Downey-mucho foxes

Hunters underutilised for pest control

“The Australian recreational hunting community is large, active and willing to spend large amounts of money on hunting. Their activities need to be understood and participants engaged by wildlife managers in order to obtain the best outcomes for wildlife management in Australia.”

That is the conclusion of a Uni of Queensland study The Expenditure and Motivation of Australian Recreational Hunters conducted in 2011-12 where 7202 hunters participated in an anonymous survey. The research is published in the CSIRO journal Wildlife Research.

In what is significant recognition for recreational hunters, the study points to our financial contribution as well as our willingness to participate in pest eradication programs – something we already knew, but seems to be taking some time to get across to some state governments that appear to be more worried about shoring up the green vote than common sense.

The full report still in production and has not been published, however the abstract from it outlines the basis for the research and the general findings.

“Recreational hunting has a long history in Australia, as in other parts of the world. However, the number, characteristics and motivations of Australian hunters have never been investigated in the same way as other countries where hunting occurs.

“In this report we aimed to systematically survey Australian recreational hunters to determine their demographic characteristics, patterns of spending and motivations.

“Between September 2011 and June 2012 we encouraged hunters to participate in an anonymous, on-line survey hosted by SurveyMonkey. We asked 53 questions about the hunters, their hunting patterns, expenditure on hunting and their motivations to hunt.

“7,202 hunters responded to the survey. The respondents were overwhelmingly male and 67% were aged between 31 and 60 years. Almost 34% of respondents were from Victoria, 26.7% from NSW and 22.0% from Queensland.

“Average direct expenditure on hunting was $1,835 per person per annum while indirect expenditure was $2,168. Over 99% of respondents said that they would be willing to participate in pest control activities if they had the opportunity.

“There are likely to be at least 200,000 and more likely 300,000 recreational hunters in Australia and they spend in excess of $1 billion dollars annually on hunting. Almost all of these hunters are willing to participate in direct wildlife management activities such as pest control.”




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