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Premier Daniel Andrews: Stop the massacre of threatened waterbirds

Dozens of 'protected' waterbirds, including Australia's rarest waterbird, have been found illegally killed by shooters at Lake Toolondo. Yet, the Andrews Government is refusing to shut even this one wetland to shooters. Urgently call on them to stop another massacre at this lake.

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UPDATE April 8 2016: Lake Toolondo partially closed, waterbirds still at risk »

At Lake Toolondo, in regional Victoria, investigators found dozens of threatened and 'protected' waterbirds slaughtered. Their fragile bodies riddled with shotgun pellets. Some birds will have drowned. Others were still alive, having suffered alone for over a week with horrific injuries. 

Among them, one of the world's rarest waterbirds, the Freckled Duck. Their very presence at this wetland should make it off limits to shooters. 

Inconceivably, Victorian government compliance officers visited this lake but failed to report this massacre. The Minister was told of seven ‘protected’ species being shot during the first weekend of the season. The reality was far worse.

At this one wetland alone, some 69 Freckled Ducks, Eurasian coots and Blue winged shovelers were retrieved dead from the water. Dozens of others were found wounded and left to suffer by shooters.

The evidence is damning:

  • The government's hunting management agency failed to adequately survey Victorian wetlands, leaving threatened species in the firing line;
  • This failure means authorities cannot know where protected and threatened waterbird species are currently taking refuge;
  • There are only a handful of officers monitoring compliance across thousands of shooting sites;
  • The likelihood of similar massacres at un-monitored wetlands is extremely high.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is considered one of Australia's most progressive political leaders. Yet even after this massacre of protected species at Lake Toolondo, his Labor Government is refusing to shut this wetland from shooters. 

Take action: Please call on the Andrews Government to urgently shut all of Lake Toolondo, to protect birds from another massacre. 

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