Princess Parrots

To: Chris Sanderson <>
Subject: Princess Parrots
From: Laurie Knight <>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2010 17:34:54 +1000
The locals are charging a premium price. I don't know whether it is an optimal price in that it may not maximise returns if it keeps the number of clients down too much. For example, thirty clients @ $250 generates more revenue than a dozen clients @ $450 ....

Regards, Laurie.

On 29/11/2010, at 4:23 PM, Chris Sanderson wrote:

Hi Tim and Tony,

I think what someone would willingly pay for something like this is a very personal thing. If Tony can't swing $450 to see Princess Parrots, I don't think you can blame him. Personally, even if I could afford it, I wouldn't pay $450 for less than a day's guiding for any bird anywhere in the world. If I were retired and well off maybe it would be a different story, who knows? I think the concept of the permit and indigenous guiding is a great one, I just don't think they have the balance right yet, as I would place
their price well above standard guiding rates.


On Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 4:17 PM, Tim Dolby <> wrote:

I think you're being a little harsh Tony.

I think the cost is reasonable for a chance to see such an iconic and hard to find species. It was not that long ago that Mike Carter resorted to drinking radiator water when his vehicle expired on the Canning Stock Route as he went in search of Princess Parrot. There are many species of birds that are best seen with the local assistance of a guide / bird guide, with
this cost not dissimilar from the costs charged by birding tours.

The money also provides valuable financial assistance to the traditional
land owners. Many conservation / birding organisations recognize the
importance of establishing positive relationships with local and indigenous people. Creating sustainable livelihoods through birdwatching tourism for
indigenous people can have a real impact both on the lives of the
traditional land owners but also bird conservation. A recent example of this
is the Kakadu Birding Project (see project.html). The
development of Import Bird Area (IBA) works along similar principles;
recognizing that working with local people and traditional land owners has a
positive impact of local conservation.


Tim Dolby

From: ]
on behalf of Tony Russell 
Sent: Monday, November 29, 2010 12:18 PM
To: Birds
Subject: RE: [Birding-Aus] Princess Parrots

Thank you John for this report and congrats on finding the PPs. However: I too thought about going but baulked at the excessive cost of a permit required to enter the restricted areas. $450 for a piece of paper which
probably took a clerk about two minutes to make out is not my idea of
good value, no matter what tick is at stake. Someone is ripping us off

I'll wait til the PPs appear on non restricted land - and if they don't,
well so be it, I'll go without.


-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of John Reidy
Sent: Sunday, November 28, 2010 10:00 AM
To: Birding-Aus
Subject: [Birding-Aus] Princess Parrots

Hi all.

Have just returned from a successful trip to see Princess Parrots near
King's Canyon NT. 5 of us (Allan Benson, Rob Benson, Alan Morris,
Margaret Reidy) booked through the Central Land Council. We met our host

from the CLC and three aborigines representing the traditional owner and

were led to a location off the Mereenie Loop road where the birds are
breeding. Initially it didn't look good as we were driving directly into

a very sinister looking storm front. It had started to rain solidly
before we arrived at the site and we had no choice but to get out and
search for the parrots. We were soaked to the skin, cold and a bit
despondent before our aboriginal representatives gave a yell and we saw
two birds in flight. These were rather poor views and we thought that
that might be it as the birds disappeared and there was no other
activity. But eventually we saw some more and after an hour or so the
weather eased up and we were eventually able to see the birds sitting in

full sunshine sitting on dead branches, giving some good photographic

At this stage we were all ecstatic with the views we were getting. We
saw all up about 20 birds.

We had travelled via Alice Springs where we hired a Nissan Patrol and
travelled south down the Stuart Highway and took the Ernest Giles dirt
road as a shortcut. We paid for this with a blow out. As it rained on
Thursday and Friday nights at Kings Canyon, we elected to return to
Alice via the bitumen which was a longer way around, but we did see a
pair of Bustards on the way.

A word of warning, the Central Land Council is taking legal action
against some people that have trespassed on their land.

Happy birding!

John Reidy
Phone 02 9871 4836
Fax 02 9871 2616


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