The impending extinction of naturalists

To: "birding aus" <>
Subject: The impending extinction of naturalists
From: "Judie Peet" <>
Date: Fri, 17 Nov 2000 07:20:27 +1100
To Scott, Anthea and all, Gidday. The thing to remember, with naturalists as much as with any other organism, is that extinction is not an end point (as ecologist Barry Traill points out) but a process.
This process can be arrested at any stage.  I absolutely agree that what is needed is to instill that sense of wonder - supposedly a part of childhood - in the whole community. When I take people into the forest, or to a part of an old Travelling Stock Route, it is that sense of wonder, and an appreciation of the small beauties surrounding us that I hope to achieve.
With mate, Janis Hosking, I recently took Dubbo's Tourism Manager and a couple of his staff out along one of Janis' (soon-to-be-famous) Bird Routes of Dubbo.  We hope to encourage visitors to Dubbo (in central western NSW) to stay a little longer and go birding, or just nature watching, along some of the routes that Janis has mapped out.
We were fascinated by the reaction of our guests to the trip. At first they were a bit dumbfounded by the way Janis and I leaped from the vehicle when a bird was in sight, and by our rapturous ooohing and ahhhing at a close encounter of the avian kind.  We also gasped and raved about trees, flowers, etc along the way.  By the time we were returning home, our guests had relaxed and were doing a bit of ooohing and ahhing themselves.
What I am getting at, in my long-winded way. is that it's really up to all of us. We are already enthused - now we have to make sure it's catching, and infect as many other people as possible. A high-profile figure can certainly reach people via TV and radio, but there are some thousands of US, so we should be able to have some impact.
Judie Peet
(The only thing that's certain in birdwatching is that nothing's certain.)
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