Re: Long-term effects of bushfires on birdlife

Subject: Re: Long-term effects of bushfires on birdlife
Date: Fri, 31 Jan 2003 10:17:04 +1100
There is literature on this. I have a paper by Richard Lyon (at least he's 
one of the authors) which I can't put my hand on right now that deals with 
this question.  Another similar paper, albeit on mammals rather than 
birds, is 
Van der Ree, R. and Loyn, R.H. (2002) The influence of time since fire and 
distance from fire boundary on the distribution and abundance of arboreal 
marsupials in eucalyptus regnans-dominated forest in the Central Highlands of 
Victoria. Wildlife Research 29, 151-158.

One thing that struck me during the Christmas 2001 fires was the amount of 
footage of displaced wildlife on the news.  We don't seem to be getting 
this footage this time - perhaps because the fires aren't in Sydney and 
there are fewer news crews on the ground.  It seems to me that this is a 
perfect opportunity for Birds Australia to come to the fore and present 
themselves as an authority on Australian birds to the public.  I think it 
is pretty well established that Birds Australia need to promote themselves 
more if they are serious about increasing membership among people with an 
interest in birds but not necessarily birdwatchers (in the manner of the 
RSPB in Great Britain).

This is a perfect opportunity for BA to have a public face on the news and 
current affairs programs offering suggestions as to how the public can 
minimise the impact of fires on wildlife.  Just what advise they offer is 
up to BA - I assume that have a position on this matter.  Such a campaign 
would need to be sustained and could also incorporate the impact of the 
drought.  A single identifiable figure is required.  The EPA in NSW has 
John Dengate while the NSW Fire Service has John Winter.  It doesn't need 
to be someone immediately identifiable, just a person that becomes 
recognised as an authority on the subject (whether they are or not is 
unimportant - they are the face of the organisation).  With time the media 
gets to know that if they want information on a bird related subject then 
BA is the place to go.

It would be nice to see BA trying to promote itself and the cause of 


David Geering

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