Outback twitchathon

Subject: Outback twitchathon
Date: Fri, 8 Mar 2002 08:19:49 +1000
Many of you will recall discussions about a potential one-off twitchathont
 o celebrate 2002 The Year of the Outback.  Well, Frances Czwalinna and Ih
 ave finally made progress in getting this organised.  Frances has done am
 arvellous job and will act as the national coordinator for this event. Asi
 ndicated below contact Frances or myself and we will arrange for kits tob
 e sent out.

Even though we have done little promotion of the event we already have
teams interested in South Australia, Victoria and at least five teams fromN
 SW (one will be on the Nullarbor at the time and another on the Canning
Stock Route) as well as one tour company that will be at Newhaven.   I
hope we can get some interest from Queensland, the Northern Territory andW
 estern Australia.  Tasmanians could participate but you would need to

I view this as not necessary a competition to see who records the greatestn
 umber of birds in a 36 hour period, although there are teams that will bew
 orking very hard to do this, but as an excuse to get out there and see
some birds while raising money for "Newhaven".

I will be promoting the event in the regional, and hopefully national,
media.  I would encourage others that have media contacts to do the same,o
 r let me know that such an opportunity exists.  This is a great
opportunity to jump on the Year of the Outback bandwagon and promote our
arid country birds and their conservation.  In the past there has been a
lot of talk about promoting our birds on this forum, it's time to do it!

If you aren't interested in forming a team (and it's not for everyone)
then how about sponsoring a team?  I might even lay down a challenge.  TheW
 hacked Out Woodswallows (David Geering, Carol Probets and Mick Todd) is
quite happy to accept (tax deductible) donations from the northern
birding-aus members while I'm sure The Driving Petrel Heads would be happyt
 o accept donations from Victorians (Lawrie, I assume you're still
interested).  Let's see who raises the most money.  Perhaps teams in others
 tates might take up the same challenge?

By the way, the limits of "the outback" (as adopted for this twitchathon)w
 as taken from maps published in the proceedings of an arid Australia
symposium.  This leaves no room for anyone to accuse anyone else of fixingb
 oundaries.   It was difficult coming up with boundaries - everyone seemst
 o have a different idea of where "the outback" starts.  Maps will be sentt
 o all teams defining the boundaries.  Note that in this twitchathon the
state boundaries ae being dropped (yes, we are letting the Victorians
tresspass onto other states).

Essentially, the event will operate as follows:

What is Birds Australia's Outback Twitchathon?
        The idea behind the race is for people to form into teams (minimumn
 umber per team - 2 people),    and go out into outback Australia and find as 
many species of birds as possible in the 36 hour   period
described below.   Each member of the team is encouraged to find
sponsorship from        friends, family, colleagues or corporations for
each species of bird seen or heard by the team, or      to find straight
out donations for the team.  There are great prizes to be won, including ap
 rize for       the most funds raised by an individual member of the team!

        Twithathons are really enormous fun!  This Outback Twitchathon isa
 lso that magic, outback        experience you've been waiting for!  It's your 
opportunity to
enjoy inland Australia, learn           something, or something more,
about our native birds and our unique, glorious outback.  It's         also 
that wonderful opportunity to do some bird atlassing
and to win a great prize, whether         you're a novice or experienced 
birdwatcher, or have the ability to
encourage people to sponsor     your team!  But more importantly, it is ano
 pportunity to draw attention to our birds and their    habitat both to
country and city folk.
        Race Details
        Dates and time:
        Any 36 hour period commencing at 6 a.m. on the first day and ending at 
6 p.m. on the second day  between Saturday 27 July and Sunday 18 August, 2002. 
(We would encourage teams to            participate on the week-end of
27/28 July if at all possible ? however see "What do you need   to do"

        You can start in any part of arid Australia and finish in any parto
 f arid Australia!  We'll send  you a map defining arid Australia for thep
 urposes of this twitchathon.

        What do you need to do?
        Just register a team for the race by contacting our Sydney office,d
 etails of which are below.  An         Outback Twitchathon Kit will be
sent to you immediately.   (Registration must be received by 21      July, 

        Please remember that care must be taken in Outback Australia ? bes
 ure to plan your trip well.    Take plenty of water and food, sun
block-out cream, insect repellant, hat, sensible clothing and   shoes.
Take maps, and a compass or GPS unit (if you have one).  If you are goingi
 nto really     remote areas, be sure to register and de-register at the
local Police Station or a suitable outback      post.  In many areas roadsm
 ay be impassable after rain.  Ensure that you check predicted weather
conditions.  If conditions are unsuitable, we would encourage you to
either  change your route, or participate on other days within the
allowable period.

        Fundraising for our Outback Twitchathon
        Birds Australia recently purchased "Newhaven Station", 335 km
north-west of Alice Springs.  It        is home to at least 15 nationallyt
 hreatened species of animals and plants.  There are five species       ofb
 irds nationally threatened and 19 species which are threatened in one orm
 ore mainland   States.  Regionally threatened birds include Major
Mitchell's Cockatoo, Black-breasted Buzzard,    Australian Bustard, Bush
Stone-curlew and Grey-crowned Babbler.  It boasts ten vegetation
communities and a wide array of landforms, none of which are well
represented in existing                 reserves. Your Twitchathon Kit
will contain a supplement to Birds Australia's national magazine
"Wingspan", which describes the property and all its wonderful attributes.
 Since that             publication, we were able to raise the funds to
buy the property from both our very generous    members and the public atl

        The Outback Twitchathon is your great opportunity to help us
maintain this vast outback              property to ensure that it remainsa
  safe haven for our native birds, other animals and plants.

For further information contact :
Birds Australia, P.O. Box 1322, Crows Nest, 1585
Tel/Fax 02 9436 0388               Email: 

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