birds in the news

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: birds in the news
From: knightl <>
Date: Mon, 31 May 2004 18:42:12 +1000

Monday, May 31, 2004. 11:22am (AEST)

Australian scientist helps in rare bird rescue bid

The Carribean island state of Bermuda has asked an Australian scientist to help rescue a rare bird, the Bermuda petrel.

Thought extinct for 300 years, 18 breeding pairs were found on a tiny rock islet off Bermuda in the early 1950s.

Although no other species of seabird is known to have survived from such small numbers, the petrels somehow managed to weather cyclones and deadly attacks from much larger birds to reach 70 breeding pairs.

Australian wildlife specialist Nick Carlile from Illawarra in New South Wales will try to take some of the chicks to an easier home at nearby Nonsuch Island.

"Our Australian program has seen a dramatic rise in bird numbers in a short period of time so we are hopeful that we can urgently replicate its success with the Bermuda Petrel, after all no-one wants to see this magnificent seabird end up like the Dodo," Mr Carlile said.

The recovery of the Australian Gould's petrel has brought it back from the brink of extinction, with only 200 breeding pairs, to 900 breeding pairs by last estimates.

Fourteen of the 29 Bermuda petrel chicks expected to be born this year will be introduced to Nonsuch Island.

"We will be replicating a lot of the techniques used successfully in the Australian scheme but also taking into account the unique conditions in Bermuda," Mr Carlile said.

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