Environmental Research

The Game Management Authority conducts the following environmental research.

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The GMA is conducting research into lead exposure in Victorian birds of prey.

Lead poisoning of waterfowl and other birds that ingest lead shot has been recognised for decades. Many countries have banned the use of lead shot for duck hunting, including most of Australia. Victoria banned its use for duck hunting in 2002. There is now growing worldwide recognition of the threat posed by toxic lead-based bullets on wildlife that consume lead fragments left in gut piles, discarded carcasses or escaped wounded animals. This has led to an increasing number of studies to assess lead exposure levels in birds of prey (raptors) around the world. Recent Australian research has shown considerable lead exposure in scavenging raptors, such as the mainland Wedge Tailed Eagle and the endangered Tasmanian Wedge Tailed Eagle.

This research aims to better understand the contributors to lead exposure in Australian birds of prey. Specifically, the research focusses on understanding the contribution of hunting to environmental lead contamination. The GMA will conduct research to trial cost-effective methods for measuring lead exposure in bones of Victorian Wedge Tailed Eagles from existing specimens.

It is anticipated that the research will conclude in 2021.

Page last updated: 08 Jul 2022