Re: Blackall Range Albert Lyrebird

To: <>
Subject: Re: Blackall Range Albert Lyrebird
From: Syd Curtis <>
Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2003 22:43:24 +1000

David Geering wrote:

Without trying to be rude ... is this proposal (Would it be beneficial to transfer some to the Conondales) serious or are we just dealing with hypotheticals?

If it is serious there are a huge number of considerations (legal, ecological and ethical) that would need to be addressed before any translocation of birds were to take place (at least there would be in NSW).


      It might be useful to air the more important of those considerations, even though merely hypothetical.  (I reckon the species is secure and there is no need for any translocation.)

Were any translocation of Albert's to be undertaken, it would only be done by the Parks and Wildlife Service, which would take care of the legal consideration (at least in Queensland).  I don't quite see where ethics comes into it.  What are the likely ecological concerns - assuming for this hypothetical consideration, that it is a matter of re-introducing the species to an area where it occurred pre-European settlement?

While the species is almost certainly secure,  some concern must be felt for the long-term future of some small isolated populations - your Blackwall Range population for example, and the ones at the head of Boundary Creek north of Casino, if they still survive.   Certainly the Blackwall Range ones are breeding, but the total population must be quite small.   In-breeding may eventually become a problem?

In Queensland, there's a very small but very rich area of rainforest on Spring Creek east of Killarney.  Originally it was part of the large area of Albert's habitat of which your Acacia Plateau (Koreela NP) is now the major remnant.  This Spring Creek area is surrounded by cleared land - pasture and cultivation - with no forested link to Koreela.  It has about ten singing males at present, crowded into what would make two or perhaps three normal Albert's breeding season territories.   There are certainly more important conservation problems to attend to, but in the fullness of time,  relocation of some of the Spring Creek excess might be in the interests both of the ones moved and the ones remaining?  

And introducing new blood into small isolated populations like Blackwall, might be helpful to such populations?

We humans have seriously interfered with the natural situation by creating these small islands of Albert's habitat, with our clearing of the forests.  I suggest that in the long term, either we will have to further interfere by some relocation to avoid in-breeding, or simply accept that these small isolated populations are unlikely to be permanent.

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