Ralph Reid wrote:
"All it needs is one or two people in each local government area to
keep pushing, pushing, pushing - easily done if the national organisations
can make scientifically correct information available to regional
co-ordinators on which they can base their letters and submissions. Keep it
in front of the attention of the public, and sooner or later you will raise
an awareness of birds in the local area - let's bring back the birds."
Not an original idea but a sound one. This is one of the principles
being used to promote the Recovery Effort for the Regent Honeyeater. I
guess I'm doing it right now. In places like Chiltern and Lurg in
north-east Victoria, the Capertee Valley in central NSW and the Bundarra
area in the north of the state the local landholders are gradually warming
to the idea of restoring habitat, not just for birds (Regent Honeyeaters
alone don't just benefit) but also to address their land management issues.
Birdwatchers and other conservation minded people are assisting in these
areas by getting their hands dirty by helping with tree-planting. Reporting
sightings of Regents, and other declining bird species, also greatly helps
the cause as it may identify other key areas that need targeting.
Local councils are also getting involved: Lithgow City Council are
establishing a museum at Capertee that will include a display about Regent
Honeyeaters and other woodland birds, Rylstone Shire have initiated an
inventory of important roadside vegetation and Barraba Shire is supporting
Russ Watt's magnificent "Bird Routes of Barraba" initiative.
Even the most red-necked of local councils aren't anti-birds.
Almost everyone likes birds, it is just a matter of getting them to realise
that efforts designed to "bring the birds back" are not a threat to other
land-use practices. This is where projects such as the declining woodland
birds project run out of Dubbo and being set up in Queensland (?) are so
Everyone can get involved. It may only need a couple of good
lobbyers to keep the issues topical (without becoming stale) but there is
plenty of scope to assist in other ways. The best way to get involved is to
contact the Threatened Bird Network at Birds Australia (Mick & Mike) or
myself if you want to help plant trees at Chiltern, Lurg, Capertee Valley or
Bundarra (these really are great weekends), help with the Regent
Honeyeater/Swift Parrot national searches in May & August (other regional
searches being organised at other times) or see Regent Honeyeaters.
These projects are only as strong, and effective, as the people
involved in them.
Regent Honeyeater Recovery Coordinator
P.O. Box 1007, Dubbo, NSW, 2830
Ph: 02 68835330 (or leave a message on Freecall 1800 621056 - this
will eventually be transferred to my direct number when I get one).
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