Native Game Bird Management Program

The NSW Native Game Bird Management Program allows licensed, responsible volunteer hunters to help landholders manage the impacts of native game birds over their agricultural lands.

Everyone who hunts native game birds under this program needs to hold a current NSW Game Hunting Licence that is endorsed for native game bird hunting. This involves passing the Waterfowl Identification Test (WIT) before they can take part in the program. These requirements set a benchmark for individuals hunting native species in NSW and ensure that landholders are still able to access the free assistance of hunters to protect their crops.

Those who wish to hunt native game birds also require the landholder’s express authority to do so. This means the landholder needs to give their permission for hunting to occur and they can do so in any manner they see fit. Having permission to enter land is a key principle in the NSW Game Hunting Licence Code of Practice and a mandatory condition of NSW game hunting licences.

Native game birds (ducks)

There are 10 species of native game ducks that may be authorised for hunting under the program, subject to a quota and licence allocations.

  • Australian Shelduck or Mountain Duck (Tadorna tadornoides)
  • Australian Wood Duck or Maned Duck (Chenonetta jubata)
  • Black Duck or Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa)
  • Blue-winged Shoveler or Australasian Shoveler (Anas rhynchotis)
  • Chestnut Teal (Anas castanea)
  • Grass Whistling Duck or Plumed Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna eytoni)
  • Grey Teal (Anas gracilis)
  • Hardhead Duck or White-eyed Duck (Aythya australis)
  • Pink-eared Duck (Malacorhynchus membranaceus)
  • Water Whistling Duck, Wandering Whistling Duck or Whistling or Wandering Tree Duck (Dendrocygna arcuata)

To sustainably manage native game birds, landholders may:

As part of the program, hunters are required to:

If you need more information on the program, contact the Wildlife Management Support Team on or 02 6363 7650.


Native game bird2019-202020-212021-222022-23
Australian Shelduck 0 7 47 74
Wood Duck 161 2,019 2,331 4,630
Black Duck 378 1,926 2,663 3,996
Blue-winged Shoveler 0 1 0 0
Chestnut Teal 0 0 0 4
Grey Teal 165 2,424 3,327 5,945
Hardhead 5 2 43 231
Pink-eared Duck 0 0 0 0
Water Whistling Duck n/a n/a n/a n/a
Grass Whistling Duck 3 26 119 481

Program participation


Landholder statistics2019-202020-212021-222022-23
Number of ricegrowers 105 473 514 450
Rice harvest (tonnes) 44,914 417,295 687,051 499,660
Active licences 80 277 301 297
Properties 124 472 602 776
Landholder register 0 15 15 6


Hunter statistics2019-202020-212021-222022-23
Number of WIT endorsed hunters 2,651 2,792 2,796 3,000
Change in WIT endorsed hunters -12% +5% - +7%
Game birds harvested 712 6,405 8,530 15,631
Returns submitted 48 321 374 455
NGBM Licences with harvests 20 67 74 60