Dear Peter et al,
Whilst I am also loath to start this up again, I have to comment on this.
ANYONE observing such terrible banding practises as described by Trevor Manley
should IMMEDIATELY report them to the authorities, starting with, in Australia,
the ABBBS. I would fully expect under this scenario for licenses to be pulled.
Birds should not be getting injured during extraction from mist nets - the net
is expendable, the bird is not. On the extremely rare occasions that the bird
is hopelessly tangled (for a skilled bander this should virtually never be an
issue), the net should be cut to free the bird as quickly as possible. The
debacle described seems due to the complete stupidity of whoever was in charge,
clearly there were too many birds in the nets (so the nets should have been
closed until all birds were processed and released) and/or untrained
individuals were not being given suitable supervision during extractions.
Neither is acceptable practise. In any case, it is unfair to use an e
xample of an (American? sorry forgotten) experience to lump all banders and
cannon netting waders into the same group.
What is needed is evidence from both sides. The case for positive outcomes and
expanding knowledge with banding is more than met, anyone arguing that banding
tells us nothing scientifically has not bothered to check the literature. What
we need is studies assessing the impact of banding itself, both from a metal
service (i.e. numbered ABBS band) right through to flags/satellite trackers
etc. Some studies are out there, but we need more. I would urge those calling
for the practise to be banned to provide evidence demonstrating that it is
damaging survival probabilities. If this can be produced, I would be happy to
work with whoever has such data to help them publish it. If it can't be
produced, then rather than slander people in a public forum (thereby further
expanding the divide between both camps), why not volunteer to assist some
banding activities and start collecting data on negative aspects of the
practise yourself? The reality is, if you feel strongly that this is such
a negative practise, the only way you will ever stop it is provided evidence
that it is negatively impacting upon the birds. I doubt any of the wader
banding folk bother reading Birding-Aus so it is a fruitless thread here, and
why would they when baseless accusations get thrown at them on a c.3 monthly
Personally, I haven't used leg flags so don't know much about them, but
certainly haven't seen any evidence of handicapped waders. Having said this,
the effects might be quite subtle and be influencing metabolism or
corticosterone loads or the like, so a study on this would be useful if not
completed already (try searching google scholar or web of knowledge for 'leg
bands' etc). In short, personal attacks do not help anyone's cause, only data
will solve this argument. If you don't have data, look for it, if it doesn't
exist then go and help get it. Otherwise I'd suggest that you have little to
add to the thread.
On 31/03/2011, at 9:10 AM, Peter Shute wrote:
> There was an earlier posting, I forget whose, that said that they didn't like
> the injuries caused by trapping waders, but they were quite ok with mist
> nets. But here Trevor Manley says he has seen mist nets cause "appalling
> injury and trauma".
> Why the difference in experiences? Can anyone explain this?
> Peter Shute
>> -----Original Message-----
>> On Behalf Of
>> Trevor Manley
>> Sent: Wednesday, 30 March 2011 8:55 PM
>> Subject: [Birding-Aus] Leg Flagging/Banding
>> Is there anyone out there who is prepared to offer a
>> justification for these practices? Anyone who can quantify
>> how it benefits the birds??
>> Back in 2002, I was living in the USA and volunteered on a
>> spring migration banding team on the Lake Erie southern shore
>> - one of the major migration hotspots.
>> I guess my motivation was the opportunities it would offer to
>> see and photograph birds at close quarters.
>> But I didn't last long - I was appalled by the mortality and
>> trauma involved. Not many birds actually injured themselves
>> or died in the mist nets (though one death is one too many),
>> but many got so badly entangled that they were injured being
>> extracted from the nets. And there was a further mortality
>> rate of birds in the keep bags. I quit pretty quickly!
>> As far as I could see, the only entities benefitting from the
>> exercise were the (human) banders/organisers in being able to
>> report "higher numbers than last year", and to thus gain
>> further funding to do it all over again the next year.
>> I think by now we know the migratory ranges of most every
>> species, so the practice of banding/flagging is surely past
>> it's use-by date.
>> Trevor Manley
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