Stunning photo helps save wetlands
- Richie Cosgrove
Marlborough photographer Matt Winter’s stunning photo of a New Zealand shoveler duck lifting off the water has won the 2021 Game bird habitat stamp photo competition.
It’s the second year in a row that Winter has won the competition, his photo was praised by the judges for its beauty and for revealing the often-hidden underside of the bird.
Winter’s winning photo will adorn the 2021 Game bird hunting licence as the Game bird habitat stamp.
Hunters each year pay $4 from every Game bird hunting licence for the stamp which goes to the New Zealand Game Bird Habitat Trust so they can use the funds for wetland enhancement projects nationwide.
Around 34,000 hunters buy a Game bird hunting licence each year.
At their meeting last September, the Trust allocated funds for 11 wetland projects nationwide.
New Zealand Game Bird Habitat Trust (GBHT) chairperson Andy Tannock says “hunters around New Zealand have been supporters of wetland’s for years. The Game bird habitat stamp allows the Trust to put their funds directly into projects which will have the best bang for the hunter’s bucks”.
“Our projects have yielded spectacular results like the Takitakitoa wetland near Dunedin, the Para wetland near Picton, and dozens of other projects that provide habitat to all our wetland species not just game birds.”
The GBHT will also benefit from the Government’s Billion trees project with a grant arranged by Dr Matt Kavermann from Wellington Fish & Game to plant $360,000 of native trees nationwide over the next three years.
Fish & Game NZ Chairperson Ray Grubb says “many people are surprised to learn just how passionate hunters are about conservation. Hunters are out there and often spot opportunities to provide more habitat for wetland species”.
“If hunters have a wetland project in mind, they can contact their local Fish & Game Office, Staff there will come out and offer advice and assist in making a funding application to the GBHT”.
On World Wetland Day it’s important to remember the valuable contribution that Kiwi hunters have made every year since 1994 by purchasing a habitat stamp as part of their game bird hunting licence.
You can learn more about the GBHT by watching this short video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtpRBbp6t1w&t=54s