collecting birds

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: collecting birds
From: "Frank O'Connor" <>
Date: Wed, 30 Jul 2003 21:54:09 +0800
I agree with nearly all of Laurie's comments about the collecting of the Yellow Chat. From the extract given from the paper, it cannot seem to be justified. If the person can't tell the difference between an Orange and a Yellow Chat then I don't feel that is a reason for taking a specimen. These species are readily identifiable in my experience. If he can't then he should have gone to the museum and looked at the specimens until he could ....

I mentioned some birds having been collected in the Kimberley. This did include a couple of birds that I would have found very very hard to justify. A big moral dilemma is that you know that the person who has taken the specimens is one of people doing the most to understand the life of birds, and contributing a great deal towards their survival.

This made me think about why I don't feel anywhere near as indignant as Tony and others. The main reason that I can think of is that I am aware that far worse happens for mammals, reptiles and insects. It is common practice on many environmental surveys to take "type specimens" for the locality. This is probably because the taxonomy is still very fluid?

As for museum displays, my understanding is that they were flops as far as the public was concerned. People prefer dinosaurs, fossils, whale skeletons, aboriginal history, etc. Stuffing a specimen for display adds absolutely nothing to the value of the specimen, so I suspect that it was largely discontinued due to lack of demand. Stuffed birds take up a lot more space to store after the display is discontinued.
Frank O'Connor           Birding WA
Phone : (08) 9386 5694              Email : 

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