Bimblebox finches

To: Ian May <>
Subject: Bimblebox finches
From: Chris Sanderson <>
Date: Fri, 4 May 2012 10:28:41 +1000
Hi Ian,

I'm sure you have already guessed this but I'd say the caller on your
talkback show was horribly misinformed.  For starters, Maureen Cooper, who
originally saw the birds, is a very upstanding conservationist and highly
skilled birder who has been doing bird surveys for the Atlas and the
Queensland Wader Study Group for a very long time.  As you have discovered
her record was accepted as reliable (of course), and the birds were of the
southern subspecies, which is protected as Endangered (hence the problem
for the mine).  The area is well within the former range of the birds.  In
terms of "unscrupulous conservationists" releasing the birds, I see a few
issues with this.  The first is sourcing enough wild-type Black-throated
Finches with white rumps to release.  The second is timing this release to
coincide with an independent bird expert arriving to do surveys.  And
finally there is the silly idea that the birds would stay in one place and
survive long enough to actually be seen.  The coincidences pile up to a
mound of...well something about the accusation stinks anyway.  For me this
has all the rhetoric of the incident that earned Orange-bellied Parrots the
moniker "Trumped-up Corella".  I certainly hope no birder will give the
lies being told any credence, the job of saving Bimblebox Nature Refuge is
already hard enough as it is.


On Fri, May 4, 2012 at 8:44 AM, Ian May <> wrote:

> Hello Peter and Paul
> Not sure about DNA and banding analysis but, I would be interested to find
> more about the Brimblebox discovery of Black-throated Finch?   What sub
> species has been located there?  Under what circumstances and who found
> them?  How close is this discovery to the previously expected population?
> Does anyone know of a published reference to the Brimblebox find?
> This morning I had a look for information about australian distribution
> and captive collections of Black-throated Finch and found this link
> interesting.
> See:**cgi-bin/sprat/public/**
> Specifically it says
> Land Tenure of Populations
> Records of the Black-throated Finch (southern) in northern Queensland have
> been mainly from leasehold or freehold land. Near Townsville, the
> subspecies has also been reported on council and Commonwealth Department of
> Defence land, with a few records on a Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service
> nature refuge at Serpentine Lagoon (BTF Recovery Team 2004). There are four
> areas dedicated as Nature Refuges for the Black-throated Finch (southern)
> in the Townsville region: Upper Sleeper Log Creek, Ollera Creek, Stuart
> Creek and Oak Valley (Townsville Bulletin 2008).
> Records of the Black-throated Finch (southern) from central and southern
> Queensland during the past 20 years have been from either roadsides or
> private land (BTF Recovery Team 2004).
> Captive populations
> The Black-throated Finch (southern) is popular with aviculturists, and
> breeds readily in captivity. In the early 1990s, it was estimated that
> approximately 5000 birds were being held in private collections (Garnett
> 1993; Garnett & Crowley 2000).
> At the species level, captive populations of the Black-throated Finch are
> maintained at Auckland Zoological Park in New Zealand, Zoologico De
> Santillana Del Mar in Spain, Attica Zoological Park in Greece, Frankfurt
> Zoo in Germany, Budapest Zoological and
> Regards
> Ian
> St Helens
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