crying wolf

Subject: crying wolf
From: Andrew Taylor <>
Date: Mon, 20 Jul 1998 19:02:36 +1000 (EST)
I am often dissappointed by careless or deliberate application of the
application of the adjectives "threatened" and "endangered" to birds
and other taxa.  There are more than enough threatened and endangered
species without false cries of wolf.

I'm dissappointed to see even a RAOU publication guilty of this.  In the
(otherwise excellent) Wingspan a picture of a Red-rumped Parrot (p12)
is captioned:

  "The Newington woodlands provide food and shelter for the locally
  threatened Red-rumped Parrot, in the largest population east of the
  Hawkesbury River"

The accompanying article also describes the Red-rumped Parrots as
locally threatened.

Red-rumped Parrot is an abundant secure species which successfully
exploits some man-modified habitats.  It ranges (roughly) from Brisbane
to Adelaide including most of NSW and Victoria. Birds of Sydney indicates
there are no records for Sydney prior to 1920 and suggests the current
population may have been founded by aviary escapees.

I don't think it  is helpful to describe a population of an abundant
and secure species which is of uncertain origin and outside its
European-arrival range, as being of conservation concern.

Red-rumped Parrots look to me to be just one of a number of species,
formerly found only inland of Sydney, such as Crested Pigeon and
White-plumed Honeyeater, which have invaded Sydney as a consequence
of man's activities.  I'm surprised their Sydney population is not
increasing, or perhaps it is?

Andrew Taylor

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