The State of Victoria Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
Aerial shooting from helicopters as an emergency response operation is a highly effective and efficient way to manage introduced animals for the benefit to biodiversity, especially where there is good visibility and in inaccessible or remote terrain. The open canopy, loss of understorey and the congregation of animals around scarce resources as a result of the 2019-20 bushfires provided a time-critical management opportunity perfectly suited for aerial shooting.
The ground-breaking success of embedding a specialist Aerial Shooting Operations Team into the incident command and control structure, and the proven ability to capitalise on a time-critical and valuable opportunity to significantly reduce the abundance and density of introduced animals immediately post fire sets out a blueprint for the future.
Aerial shooting is continuing as part of the Victorian Government’s Bushfire Biodiversity Response and Recovery program (BBRR) building on the outcomes of the emergency response to ensure that introduced animals are prevented from re-establishing or are kept at low population levels to assist the long-term recovery of important native flora and fauna species and their habitat.