Re: Crying wolf

Subject: Re: Crying wolf
From: "David Geering"<>
Date: Tue, 21 Jul 1998 12:20:49 +1000
I inadvertently sent this directly to Andrew this morning rather than to
the list.  Sorry, Andrew.

I think Andrew makes a very valid point.  It is straining the relationship
a bit to describe Red-rumped Parrots as threatened in Sydney.  They are
common in some areas around Newcastle.  I think they are going to be
another Crested Pigeon before too long.

There are numerous other examples.  For example, in a publication on the
fauna of western NSW the Grey Currawong is listed as a species of
"conservation concern" and the Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike as "threatened" .
The pelican, Great Cormorant and Rufous Night-heron are also listed as
"conservation concern".  This might, however, be more a reference to their
breeding requirements.

In NSW the Magpie Goose is listed as "vulnerable".  This might be so but
try explaining this to someone in the Northern Territory.  There are many
examples of species being listed as threatened or endangered in a
particular state that are merely at the limit of their range.  This may be
all very well as long as it doesn't disguise that fact that the species
really is secure.

On the other hand, some people may regard Barking Owl, Grey-crowned
Babbler, or Jacky Winters as being common, and therefore secure, but look
at the big picture and we might see them declining in some areas and their
range steadily contracting.  I always regarded the Apostlebird as being a
common bird in western NSW but this species has the distinction of being
one of three woodland species extinct in South Australia (along with Regent
Honeyeater and Grey-crowned Babbler).

Lets look at the big picture before adding to what is a growing endangered
species list.

The discussion on land clearing, incidentally, is a valuable one with a
number of possible solutions but we are preaching to the converted.  How
many politicians have subscribed to birding-aus?  The message must go
further afield.

David James - have you ever considered a career in politics?

David Geering

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