I have appended the Hansard record of the Senate Estimates Committee
discussion that led to the article in yesterday's age and the Birding
Aus thread "Bad news from Macquarie"
It doesn't appear to contain anything that would indicate there had
been any blundering or unexpected outcome in the rodent control
program. Warning, the transcript contains AFL references.
- Environment and Communications Legislation Committee - 18/10/2011 -
Estimates - SUSTAINABILITY, ENVIRONMENT, WATER, POPULATION AND
CHAIR: We will go to outcome 5, program 5.1, Conservation of
Senator ABETZ: Can we revisit Macquarie Island and the culling that
has taken place. Last time I was told that, as at 17 July 2011—when I
say 'last time', I mean in a written answer to a question I asked last
time—932 birds were found dead. Is there any update on that figure?
Mr Hooy : Yes.
Senator ABETZ: What is the casualty list now?
Mr Hooy : The number of birds that have died in total for 2011 is 1,243.
Senator ABETZ: So this is now a cumulative total?
Mr Hooy : The total figure for 2010-11 is 2,190.
Senator ABETZ: Can you give me a breakdown of the species as you have
done before—not now but on notice, because time is very short?
Mr Hooy : I can certainly do that.
Senator ABETZ: Previously I was told that the birds that died had done
so as a result of feeding off the corpses of the animals that had been
Mr Hooy : That is correct.
Senator ABETZ: Are we saying that the 110 ducks actually fed off
Mr Hooy : I see what you mean.
Senator ABETZ: I would have thought petrels might but I am not sure
ducks do. So I am wondering whether the ducks in fact partook of the
pellets and whether that was foreseen by any of the people
administering this scheme.
Mr Hooy : I cannot speak for the ducks—
Senator ABETZ: That is reassuring—especially the dead ducks! Although
Senator Conroy can speak for the magpies!
Senator Conroy: Sing for them!
Senator BILYK: Please don't!
Senator Conroy: After Bob Katter I am in the clear!
CHAIR: Senator Conroy, you have united the committee: no singing!
Mr Hooy : I will not speak for the ducks. I cannot confirm whether the
ingestion by the ducks had been anticipated. I do know that there was
concern about the ingestion of bait by albatross chicks and that was
looked at very, very closely.
Senator ABETZ: Albeit we do not have any albatrosses on our mortality
Mr Hooy : There are only a small number of wandering albatross on the
island and people were stationed in the immediate vicinity when the
bait was dropped, so it was able to be moved from the nests.
Senator ABETZ: I will put further questions on notice. Thank you.
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