Leg Flagging/Banding

To: Paul McDonald <>
Subject: Leg Flagging/Banding
From: Dave Torr <>
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2011 12:55:04 +1100
I have very mixed views on this - we need the scientific data, but birds do
undoubtedly suffer. I have on several occasions seen injured birds just
after cannon netting has occured in an area - can't prove that was the cause
of course, but having a fairly heavy net hurled at a small bird seems highly
likely to injure a few.

As for survival rates it is almost impossible to say - if a flag does hinder
a bird's ability to fly/feed etc then it is almost certainly going to die
somewhere where it will not be found - so all we can say is that a small
%age of flagged birds are found alive (and we get data from that) and we
really don't know what happens to the rest - some undoubtedly die in
migration, but whether a higher %age of flagged birds die en route compared
to non-flagged birds would be almost impossible to determine.

On 31 March 2011 09:37, Paul McDonald <> wrote:

> Dear Peter et al,
> <>
> 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 basis?

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