Howard Springs Hunting Reserve

Howard Springs Hunting Reserve is a protected area in the Northern Territory of Australia located in the locality of Howard Springs.

Howard Springs Hunting Reserve
Howard Springs[1]Northern Territory
IUCN category VI (protected area with sustainable use of natural resources)[2]
Howard Springs Hunting Reserve is located in Northern Territory
Howard Springs Hunting Reserve
Howard Springs Hunting Reserve
Nearest town or cityPalmerston City
Coordinates12°25′38″S 131°04′07″E / 12.4271°S 131.0687°E / -12.4271; 131.0687Coordinates: 12°25′38″S 131°04′07″E / 12.4271°S 131.0687°E / -12.4271; 131.0687[2]
Established11 July 1984 (1984-07-11)[2]
Area16.05 km2 (6.2 sq mi)[2]
Managing authoritiesParks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory
WebsiteHoward Springs Hunting Reserve
See alsoProtected areas of the Northern Territory

The hunting reserve occupies land in section 4076. This land is part of a larger parcel of land under the protection of the Territory Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act and extends from the reserve’s south to its immediate north and east and ultimately to the shoreline of Shoal Bay. The land to the south has been gazetted as the Howard Springs Nature Park while land to the north and the east has been gazetted as the Shoal Bay Coastal Reserve. The land on which the hunting reserve and neighbouring protected areas are located on is part of area called the Howard Sand Plains which is considered by the Northern Territory Government as a Site of Conservation Significance.[1][3]

The hunting reserve was established in 1984. It was managed in conjunction with the Howard Springs Nature Park from 1992 to 2016.[2][1]

The right to hunt particular bird species within the reserve is available only to permit-holders usually during the fourth quarter of the calendar year (i.e. October to December), but may change from year to year. Hunted species is limited to Grey teal, Hardhead duck, Magpie goose, Maned duck, Pacific black duck, Plumed whistling duck, Pink-eared duck and Wandering whistling duck. Firearms and weapons used for hunting are restricted to lever-action shotguns and bows. The use of lead shot in shotgun cartridges is illegal in the Northern Territory. Research as early as 1991 found that magpie geese in the hunting reserve and nearby sites had toxic lead concentrations in their livers due to the indigestion of lead shot.[4][5][6]

The hunting reserve is categorised as an IUCN Category VI protected area.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "Howard Springs Nature Park Plan of Management" (PDF). Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory. October 2016. pp. i & 6. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Terrestrial Protected Areas by Reserve Type in Northern Territory (2016)". CAPAD 2016. Australian government. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  3. ^ "Howard Sand Plains - Site of Conservation Significance" (PDF). Northern Territory Government. Retrieved 10 October 2019 – via Greening Australia.
  4. ^ "Magpie geese and waterfowl hunting rules". Northern Territory Government. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
  5. ^ "Magpie geese and waterfowl season dates". Northern Territory Government. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
  6. ^ Whitehead, Peter J.; Tschirner, Kurt (28 February 1991). "Lead shot ingestion and lead poisoning of magpie geese Anseranas semipalmata foraging in a Northern Australian hunting reserve". Biological Conservation. 58 (1): 99–118. doi:10.1016/0006-3207(91)90047-D.

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