Re: Fwd: [BIRDING-AUS] Birding publicity

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Re: Fwd: [BIRDING-AUS] Birding publicity
From: Jill Dening <>
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 2000 06:40:42 +1100

As one final note, I think that many people that are interested in birds (and the environmental generally) than a lot of people think. Not being in a club or on a mailing list does not mean that the interest is not there. The challenge is to convince these people that the continual existence of these animals may not continue if current practices continue, and to try and do something about it.

Hello Peter,

I wonder about this. I would like to think there's real interest, but I really wonder. Recently I faced the fact that even amongst bird people, there are many who are not remotely interested in conservation, which is really what you are talking about. We mouth the word conservation, and we assume that we are all working towards it. But in fact there are many professional ornithologists who haven't the slightest interest in conservation. They are deeply interested in their research, but that's simply a scientific question which they seek to answer. So why did they become ornithologists? Because they were driven to ask questions and seek answers. They love the process. But does that make them conservationists? Hardly. Obviously there are plenty of scientists who care greatly about conservation, but even they will probably nod their heads in understanding about what I say.

And some birders  (don't get fractious, I said some) care nothing for conservation - these are people driven to make lists, and who would care about not having a bird around to put on a list, but that's the extent of their interest in conservation. I have all around me birders who are very keen about their subject. But not many of them will put in the repetitive work to ensure that conservation measures are put in place. Sure, it requires commitment, but many can't face that. Maybe it's too boring, not enough action.

I must be having a "half empty bucket" night. Normally my bucket is half full. But just today I was talking to a friend about trying to get someone to help do my tern surveys when I go to Tasmania for three weeks over Christmas. It would mean giving up three afternoons and evenings, once a week. Her husband is a top birder. She said, "Oh he would never tie himself down to doing  that." Whether or not she's correct, I found it a trifle depressing. Such wasted expertise.

Am I being myopic? Or just having a bad night?


Jill Dening
Sunshine Coast, Qld
26º 51'        152º 56'

Ph (07) 5494 0994
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