Sensitive sites

To: michael hunter <>
Subject: Sensitive sites
From: Phil Gregory <>
Date: Wed, 05 Dec 2001 18:02:50 +1000
Hi Michael,
The egg collecting thing was what prompted my musings, I assume we just don't
know how much of a problem it is in Australia. Quite possibly potentially malign
people are picking up all sorts of useful snippets, I really don't know what the
answer is either, other than caution about some information.
My concern with the Golden Bowerbird bowers and nest areas is basically pressure
of numbers of visitors, and after the officially sponsored unscrupulous
scientific collecting farce earlier this year there are other reasons to be
cautious! There are a couple of well known and long used bower sites that have
been widely published. These get a large amount of visitors with unknown effects
on the birds, though probably benign as the sites are still in use after many

Are all visitors aware of the minimal disturbance protocols? Do any of them use
tapes, and how about the risk of over-zealous photographers? Guests at Cassowary
House and Kingfisher Park get briefed about the do's and don'ts, with or without
guides being involved. If I feel unhappy about the attitude of visitors for any
of the preceding reasons then I don't reveal site details. It really is not a
question of keeping things secret so we can benefit, I just think we need to
adopt a note of caution with these sensitive restricted range species.
Generally we are happy to share sites and information, as numerous visitors will
attest, but certain species do need more care than others, which was the point
of my mailing.

Regards Phil Gregory
Cassowary House, Kuranda

michael hunter wrote:

> Hi Phil,
>            I read your message after my previous reply.
>            I'm sure that you are aware that Bower-birds don't nest in their
> Bowers, and that they are not a great guide to BBnests. Most of the
> information re these readily accessible sites is available elsewhere. With
> the greatest of respect to the bird-guides of FNQ, several of whom have
> taught me many tricks of the trade, occassionally I get the impression that
> they would prefer sites to remain secret within their fraternity for obvious
> commercial reasons.
>           My feeling is that the more people can access interesting birds,
> the more they will encourage their friends and so forth, and the more people
> are involved the better for the cause of Conservation, and the more people
> are likely to use guides for that matter.
>           Nonetheless I agree that sites like the Red Goshawk nest should
> remain classified information, but what is to stop villains subscribing to
> Birding-aus and requesting the information direct?
>           Is egg-collecting still a problem in Australia?
>                              Cheers
>                                      Michael
>            I
> Birding-Aus is on the Web at
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