IT IS imperative we feed wild animals

To: Hugo Phillipps <>
Subject: IT IS imperative we feed wild animals
From: Penn Gwynne <>
Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2003 00:52:22 -0700 (PDT)
G'day Hugo,
How many native birds, Australian Magpies, Silver Gulls, Rainbow Lorikeets and alike did we have before the european invasion? you don't know this nor does any other person or native of these lands. Therefore how can you justify a statment that says we had ex numbers of magpies etc etc.
If you define thriving as? to what is left of each species and they have are having a healthy food intake then yep, perhaps, but the numbers are well down since white mans invasion, as I said, I live well below the poverty line, if you care to send me those highly expensive books FREE of any Charge then fine. Could I then sell them after reading to raise funds for Lance Ferris?
I'm cooking tea for me and my wild birds at present BUT I WILL get back to change your ways of very bad thinking.
John A. Gamblin

Hugo Phillipps <> wrote:
Dear John -

At 06:14 PM 23/06/03 -0700, you wrote:
Thee wholesale slaughter/change of the native lands is the number one
factor why ALL species worldwide are in decline, except one, humans.

Not true. Many species are thriving because of humans. Of native birds,
Australian Magpies, Silver Gulls and Rainbow Lorikeets ate just three
obvious examples - and there are many more. If you want evidence for this, see the Atlas of Australian Birds data. There are also many native species in decline because of human activities, but I suspect that most of the species you feed and care for fall into the first category.

I have no strong objection to you feeding and caring for birds and other
animals, assuming you are doing it responsibly and monitoring the effects. I do not doubt that it is fulfilling for you and educational for others. I know that people, especially children, can be inspired by positive close encounters with wild birds.

However, your statement above (and others previously) suggest that you
believe that feeding wild birds is important for conservation (rather than
just for the welfare of individuals). I fail to see that feeding common
birds has any direct conservation benefit at all, whatever other benefits
it may have. Are any of the species of birds you feed regularly listed as
threatened on state, national and international lists? If they are, then
is supplementary feeding recommended as part of their recovery or
management plans?

I commend to you The Action Plan for Australian Birds 2000, by Garnett & Crowley, published by Environment Australia in 2000, which makes informed recommendations about what we should do to conserve the diversity of our birdlife and their habitats. To me these recommendations are far more 'imperative' than artificially inflating the numbers of already common and increasing species.

Hugo Phillipps
Communications Coordinator
Birds Australia
415 Riversdale Road
Hawthorn East 3123, Australia
Tel: (03) 9882 2622, fax: (03) 9882 2677

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