RE: local extinctions (Sydney, NSW)

To: "Osborn, Paul PR" <>
Subject: RE: local extinctions (Sydney, NSW)
Date: Mon, 27 Jul 1998 14:08:43 +1000
I was interested in a couple of the recent comments about Noisy Miners, and
their status as "indicators of environmental degradation".  I'm quite
comfortable with the notion that a species such as the Noisy Miner can
readily take advantage of disturbed or modified habitats, and displace
other species which are not so flexible in their requirements or so
aggressively exclusive in their behaviour.  To some extent it may be that
Noisy (and Bell) Miners can contribute to environmental degradation by
excluding suites of species which more effectively control lerps, psyllids,
etc.  They probably have expanded their range into areas which, prior to
human interference, did not contain suitable habitat.  However, in the
final analysis they are a native species which presumably evolved and
survived (prior to European settlement) in certain naturally occurring
habitat niches.  There may even still be places which contain unmodified
"original" Noisy Miner habitat.  We already have native species
characterised as pests, because their behaviour and/ or populations,
whether modified as a result of human-induced habitat change or not,
conflict with commercial objectives.  I'm a bit anxious about the broader
implications of designating a native species (at least as a whole, rather
than perhaps specific populations?) as an indicator of environmental

Any thoughts?

     Jack Krohn

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