Well done Harry! We really do need to examine our values and motives. The
"vigor" of some introduced species certainly threatens some "natives", but
your points are so valid.
I dunno either, but I certainly think twice about interfering with "nature"
in any mode, be it Peregrine Falcon attacking Crested Pigeon or Starling
taking nesting sites of Red-rumped Parrots! We choose to interfere because
of our personal desire for what we want as a more pleasing outcome. Based
on our conditioned, human desires - not nature/God's unknowable plan.
Is man part of nature or outside of nature? If man is part of nature,
should we also condone farmers poisoning Corellas and Cockatoos to protect
We each have to make a personal judgement on our actions at any point,
based on what we feel and believe at that point!
> From: Harry Clarke <>
> Subject: birding-aus Ornithological Racism
> Date: Wednesday, 26 May 1999 14:28
> Is dislike of sparrows, starlings and mynas an example of speciest
> Is a House sparrow less worthy of survival opportunity in Australia than
> Kookaburra? Why? Are those who disapprove of such species the Pauline
> Hansons of the ornithological world? Where are the ornithological
> multiculturalists? Are we more approving of greenfinches and goldfinches
> (than of starlings or blackbirds) because of their colour?
> Should we allow human migrants into Australia only if they agree to breed
> more slowly than original resident Australians (=aboriginees) and if they
> promise not to occupy niche habitats in Toorak or Double Bay? If removed
> from their terrorist 'predators' they should be required to promise not
> devour us, steal our partners or top VCE or HSC exams?
> Yeah, I don't like House sparrows as much as Kookaburras but I still do
> have the conviction to destroy blackbird nests that occur in profusion in
> my backyard. Nor will I prick their eggs. I am a confused
> internationalist. My confusion is somewhat related to the following quote
> from James Kohen's book on aboriginees and the Australian environment.
> "When we talk about conservation of the Australian environment, what are
> really talking about? Do we mean conserving the environment as it was in
> 1788 - an environment which was created as the result of interaction with
> Aboriginal people - or do we mean conserving the environment as it
> in the absence of regular, routine, low-intensity burning; or do we mean
> conserving it in the absence of the dingo; or in the absence of foxes or
> feral cats; or in the absence of the rabbit, the goat, the pig, the camel
> and the donkey; or do we mean conserving it without any human impact
> whatsoever - by excluding people altogether from National Parks?" (Kohen
> (1995, p. 128)).
> I dunno.
> Harry Clarke
> School of Business
> Faculty of Law and Management
> Room 433, Donald Whitehead Building
> La Trobe University, Bundoora, 3083. Australia.
> Phone: 03-9479-1732
> Fax: 03-9479-1654
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