Re Robert Berry (26 July and 2 August): I didn't mean to suggest for a
minute that weed invasion was the sole cause of declines of Grey-crowned
Babbler, Plains-wanderer and Superb Lyrebird in Victoria - in fact it's
clear from the first sentence of my 25 July posting that I think otherwise.
However, that weed invasion is part of the problem is clear from the
briefest scan of the literature on these species - the
Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Action Statement for Grey-crowned
Babbler and Plains-wanderer, for instance and, for Superb Lyrebird: Smith
((1994) Aust. Bird. Watcher 15: 242 & 248) and the recent (May 1998) report
of the Victorian Parliamentary Environment and Natural Resources Committee
Inquiry entitled 'Weeds in Victoria', which cites (on page 31) Duggan
(submission to the Inquiry), Freshwater ((1991) Plant Protection Quarterly
6:17), and Adair ((1995) in 'Conserving Biodiversity: Threats and
Solutions' (Eds. Bradstock et al., Surrey Beatty and Sons)). The last one
sounds like it could be a very interesting read.
I also did not mean to suggest that Lyrebirds have disappeared completely
from Sherbrooke. I should add that I am no expert on any of these species.
As I stated in the 25 July posting, the references to these species were
only examples that came quickly to mind - my intent was to provide examples
to which birders might easily relate (the 'thousands of examples' include
all manner of plant and animal species), and I certainly did not intend to
distract readers from the main point of the posting.
So let's get back to the main point: weeds do not enhance biodiversity -
they destroy it. Is anyone seriously suggesting otherwise? If not, we
should be objecting to promotion (often taxpayer-funded) of the deliberate
establishment of weeds such as Tree Lucerne.
(I haven't had any replies supporting the introduction of weeds, let alone
the 'mountain of evidence' I suggested was required)
Cheers to all (and when is a crippler going to turn up in Victoria?),