Re: Birding Ethics

To: Michael Hines <>
Subject: Re: Birding Ethics
From: Hugo Phillipps <>
Date: Thu, 13 Mar 1997 09:33:55 +1100 (EST)
Hi, Mike - thanks for your comments

 you wrote:
>Thank you for publishing this . I suggest you adopt the American Birding
>Association principles of Birding Ethics 'in toto'.

With regard to the ABA code; I have no major problems with it.  It would
actually be very easy to mofify it slightly and then adopt it.  However, the
Conservation Committee here is taking a different appraoch - to develop a
broader statement / position paper / policy on not just birding, but also
ecotourism and scientific research, and to make it reasonably consistent..

>Readers should also appreciate that scientific investigation of animal
>life requires project approval by ethics committees and that the rigour of
>honesty in reporting scientific data which must be reproducible by other
>workers, requires as a corollary the highest level of ethics when working
>with animals.

It has always seemed ironic that ethics committees have adopted very strict
guidelines on important research, and are generally expected to do so by the
public, while the protocols governing other human use of, or interactions
with, birds are much more permissive.

 Would it be provocative to suggest that the ethical guidelines and
legislative measures controlling impacts on wild birds in scientific
research, recreational birding, recreational hunting, farming, land
clearance and industrial development be consistent?  Should we be
increasingly strict the more benign or constructive the impact might be?

If we want to avoid hypocrisy, this is going to be a tricky one.  We are
seeking a wider range of opinion and comment before finalising any policy,
which is not likely to be completed before next year.  All comments,
suggestions or submissions welcome.

Regards,  Hugo.

Hugo Phillipps,
Birds Australia Conservation & Liaison,
Australian Bird Research Centre,
415 Riversdale Road,
Hawthorn East, VIC 3123, Australia.
Tel: +61 3 9882 2622. Fax: +61 3 9882 2677.
Email: <>
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