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Wedge-Tailed Eagle Hunting


Jerry_Atrick
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I was reading in The Age today about how there has been mass hunting on wedge-tailed eagles in Gippsland and the response of an angry farmer to someone who wrote a letter to the editor (or wrote an editorial) that he was, and I paraphrase, a loony left wing Toorak tractor driving idiot who knew nothing about farming, etc.. and how over the years how this loony leftie hadn't seen the rate of lamb killing through fixes, feral dogs and eagles .. and finished with something like he will shoot what he wants, when he wants (Can wedge-tailed eagles survive the slaughter?

 

Now I know wedge-tailed eagles are big birds of prey, but the lambs would have to be newborn or not too long after for the eagles to want to kill them (as they seem to only kill what they can carry in flight). So my initial thoughts was, there may be a very small problem, where they snatch one or two at a very early age (in the UK, we keep them indoors until they are a little heavier - safe from foxes and badgers).

 

Is this bloke just a nutter who likes to kill animals for the fun of it? Or is there a real problem with eagles taking lambs in numbers big enough to justify killing hundreds of eagles?

 

 

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He got 14 days + £2500 fine (if we are talking about the same fella)...

 

Initially it does sound like a token gesture... My concern is that there is apparently a correlation between people who commit animal atrocities and them progressing onto human atrocities. So I was wondering if mass eagle killing is really justified or if it is someone (or a few) getting their kicks...

 

 

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The Same problem was in NZ, years ago, & led to the invention of the "Kea gun" a sawn off 410 gauge shotgun, with the pellets replaced with a solid slug of lead, (pellets bounced off the thick feather plumage.)

 

The problem was farmers seeing Kea,s (a verybig green parrot) eating newborn lambs,

 

When the university took interest and witnessed the birds actually eating the Afterbirth, the "Kea-gun" was suddenly made illegal.

 

spacesailor

 

 

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This misinterpretation of what carnivores are actually eating has been the cause of the extinction of several native species, the Tassie Tiger being one. If these eagles were seen flying off with lambs, I'd bet that the lambs were already dead before the eagle arrived overhead. I wonder if anyone has ever determined the neo-natal death rate of sheep in areas free of predators.

 

 

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We had about 30 ewes on out property... We didn't lose too many to predators as they were kept secure until they could put up a decent fight (feral dogs aren't a problem where we were). On average, we would lose 1 per lambing season for reasons unknown. The commercial breeds are bred for becoming meat ASAP and as a result, their genetics are quite weak in comparison to traditional breeds..

 

 

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Wedgetails are not the only target of idiots. A man has been arrested and charged after he posted video of running down emus with his vehicle and laughing about it, counting off the number he had killed. Now video has surfaced of hoons on trailbikes and quadcycles terrorising emus, causing them to run through fences and onto the road.

 

 

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Wedgetails are not the only target of idiots. A man has been arrested and charged after he posted video of running down emus with his vehicle and laughing about it, counting off the number he had killed. Now video has surfaced of hoons on trailbikes and quadcycles terrorising emus, causing them to run through fences and onto the road.

And then there are these evil losers Men accused of torturing kangaroos to death face court sporting black eyes

 

 

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There was a CSIRO investigation done many years ago ( long before loony greenies called the shots ) where they found eagles blameless. Eagles were caught carrion-feeding but not killing healthy lambs.

 

Often, the farmer would see the eagles eating a dead lamb and wrongly conclude that the eagles had killed it.

 

A lamb is too big and heavy for an eagle.

 

 

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I would have thought that, too... So, is the eagle is carrying out an important job cleaning up the place to stop the spread of various diseases that other livestock can contract as a result... and therefore are the farmers not shooting themselves in the foot.. are are they doing it for "sport"?

 

 

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Hardly any would be doing it for sport. Mainly, they would honestly believe that the eagles had done the killing. I guess it is possible that this happens in rare cases but the CSIRO observers ( they spent a long time in an elevated tank with viewing-holes ) didn't see the ewes get agitated from eagles. Eagles feed on mice and small lizards and insects.

 

In the investigation, it was dogs which did the main killing. Foxes are not a big danger to healthy lambs and ewes, the foxes are a bit small too. But my guess is that foxes do get a few lambs.

 

Here's the main danger... sheep are not worth the price of a vet's visit and the minimum wage is about 3 sheep a day, so the sheep get little in the way of care and this is sad. Fly-strike is just an awful way for a sheep to die.

 

 

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Wedgies are magnificent Birds. Anywhere you have significant numbers of Lambing and Kids you will get a concentration of Foxes and wild dogs. They are the problem, Eagles will feed on afterbirth and carrion, its an easy meal. At other times they will take small animals like rabbits and even small dogs. Mate lost his mini foxie, Wedgie picked it up, flew off and dropped it from over a hundred feet to kill it then swooped down to take home lunch. I've seen Wedgies with Wing Spans wider than car tracks.

 

Good show on Landline recently re Foxes, a weekend organised shoot accounted for over 700 foxes. Link below

 

Outfoxed: A farming community taking on the elusive feral predator

 

 

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