SA man fined for shooting rare duck

An Adelaide man who shot a protected duck species during last year's hunting season has been fined $600.

The 33-year-old illegally shot a male blue-winged shoveler duck at Loch Luna Game Reserve, near Kingston on the Murray River, in February 2018.

He pleaded guilty to taking a protected animal, and told Murray Bridge Magistrates Court he had misidentified the bird.

But Department for Environment and Water ecologist Jason Higham said that excuse was unacceptable, and his prosecution was a lesson to other hunters.

"If you not sure of the species, don't shoot," he said.

"This outcome serves as a reminder to all hunters that they must respect the rules in place and that the department will prosecute those that don't abide by the law."

The blue-winged shoveler has been excluded from hunting since 2003 due to concerns about its population sustainability.

"The species is protected for a reason," Mr Higham said.

"Wildlife authorities across the eastern states have ongoing concerns about the conservation status of the blue-winged shoveler due to habitat degradation."

South Australia's 2019 duck open season began last weekend and finishes at the end of June.

Duck hunters must hold a valid firearms licence and hunting permit, and abide by the eight-duck per day bag limit.