Birding publicity - conservation

To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: Birding publicity - conservation
From: "Irene" <>
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 2000 18:19:29 +1100
Hi everyone
I have to concur with the comment below.  I know several people who SAY they support their club, support conservation, support bird publicity and activities etc. but when it comes to ACTUALLY doing something, it proves to largely be lip service. 
Clubs have a hard time scraping in the minimum number of volunteers for their committee, with some people on committees merely attending meetings and throwing in their "two cents worth" of commentary, but not actually undertaking any of the tasks that arise from time to time.  (By the way, this applies not just to bird clubs but also to orchid clubs, art societies and professional/business associations as well).
This also applies to conservation efforts, with people talking conservation but not doing anything when it comes to it.  And I've seen in this respect, a number of people who will turn up once for a conservation activity (eg surveys) to have some fun for one weekend, but don't commit to the regular (eg monthly) work required over a period of years.  This wastes the organiser's time in training people for a one time effort.  And some of the "work" could hardly be considered as "hard".
One particularly galling incident I experienced years ago was where the conservation officer of a bird club disallowed newcomers to a particular survey weekend away, but brought his own non-birding friend and they proceeded to drink heavily and party over the weekend and NOT conduct their own survey work.  The disallowed newcomers were left with a very bad impression of the openness, friendliness and seriousness of Sydney bird clubs.  Just one incident like this can get around quickly by word of mouth and can be extremely difficult to overcome.
Thank goodness for the people (a relatively few number out of the total "birding population" or "nature loving" population) who do actually contribute their time to undertaking the many and varied tasks that are necessary. 
Of course, it is people's personal choice as to whether they contribute by action or not, but please "walk the talk".

Having said all of that, I would still encourage people to join in voluntary activities.  ICAN be lots of fun.  You can learn new and interesting skills, and enjoy privileges such as access rights to property that otherwise are unavailable, revealing wonderful and very special sights.  It CAN be HUGELY rewarding on a personal level - contributing to something very real such as saving an endangered animal or plant is something that really warms your heart in an indescribable way.

Irene Denton
Concord West, 12 km from Sydney city, NSW Australia
33 50 17 S     151 05 25 E

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.  
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.

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