Conservation

State Game Reserve Audit

Johnson Swamp State Game Reserve

Victoria's Game Management Authority has released an audit of State Game Reserves, many of which were originally established using licence fees paid by duck hunters.

The Wildlife Act 1975 specifies that management plans be prepared for all SGRs, however, the audit found that of the 199 current SGRs, 69% (137) do not to have a management plan.

Issues were also identified with landholder encroachment, access, designation of reserves and signage that was ambiguous or inconsistent and in some cases incorrect.

The GMA introduction is below followed by a link to the full report.

State Game Reserves (SGRs) are an important part of Victoria's park and reserve system.

These reserves were set aside for the conservation of wildlife and to allow for the hunting of game species during the open season.  There are currently 200 SGRs across Victoria which cover an area of about 75,000 hectares.

The first State Game Reserves were purchased using licence fees collected from duck hunters who identified early on that the draining of wetlands was seriously impacting waterbird habitat and populations.  Jack Smith Lake Game Reserve was the first SGR to be proclaimed in 1958 and ever since these reserves have played an important role in conservation and recreation.  In addition to game hunting opportunities during the open season, these reserves provide recreational opportunities for water sports, camping, bird-watching and fishing all year round.

Critically, this network of reserves plays an important conservation role at both the local and international scale. Seventy SGRs support threatened species and eighteen SGRs are listed as wetland of significant importance under the international RAMSAR convention.  

To better inform the management of these important reserves, the Game Management Authority, with the assistance of Parks Victoria, have conducted a state-wide audit of the reserves.  The results of this audit are provided in the report below.

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