noted the comments from Denise, Chris, Roy. David ,Richard and everyone
else on how to promote birding and tourism I thought I would throw in my two
Being a recent convert to birding but having been involved in many other outdoor
activities my observations are that birders as a group tend to be rather inward
looking rather than reaching out to include others. Sure once you are in "
the loop" birders are the friendliest and most helpful people you could
meet however how do you find out about " the loop" in the first
stand to be corrected on this but it appears to me that our birding
organisations and individual birders spend much time and energy
on research and conservation, which is terrific and of course
essential, but far less on sharing the joys of birding with the
these birding organisations and individuals doing to promote birding in schools,
national parks and to the community at large? Sure some individuals are doing
wonderful work but I would suggest many more are needed. We are then shocked and
horrified when nobody gives birds the recognition we feel they deserve. We then
blame the park rangers, the tourist bureaus, the schools, the politicians
and the teachers and say it's up to them to do something about it.
We' re the bird lovers if we
don't share our enthusiasm with others and " spread the gospel " ourselves why
should we expect others to be enthusiastic on our behalf. Let's take the
inititive get out there and approach all these organisations and volunteer to
show them birds, let's share our enthusiasm and our knowledge. After all
most of the public only sees birds at a distance. If they are
delighted by crimson rosellas at places like Wilson's Prom. then imagine how
much more interested they would be in seeing other birds with the aid of
magnification. They won't all become birdos but they will be far more likely to
support their conservation.
I agree with Richard Jordan when he
says that we should start moving birding more into the mainstream. If we
can't get enough volunteers to do the above ( and volunteers generally are
harder to find these days ) then we should start paying someone to do it.
Perhaps we might have some
suggestions on how to fund such a project?