Threatened species list in need of a good edit

To: "" <>
Subject: Threatened species list in need of a good edit
From: colin trainor <>
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2013 19:34:56 +0930
                                                Threatened species list in need 
of a good edit
Stephen Garnett
                The Australian
                                                                October 24, 2013

                                [start of text only....]

"ON July 9, 1904, Alan Owston shot a female rainbow bee-eater that 
had migrated north from Australia to the island of Okinawa south of 

                This bedraggled bird, now in the American Museum of Natural 
History, remains the only record of a bee-eater from Japan. Despite 
this, 70 years after the bird died, the bee-eater was appended to the 
Japan-Australia Migratory Bird Agreement.
JAMBA, as it is known, 
is one four international agreements that make migrants matters of 
national environmental significance under Australia's foremost 
environmental legislation, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity 
Conservation Act. Because bee-eaters appear on an EPBC Act list of 
migrants, every environmental impact assessment has to consider whether a
 proposed development will have a detrimental effect on the species.

 ever have, because bee-eaters are abundant and widespread. However, for
 the very reason that they are so common, almost every environmental 
consultant has a copy-and-paste paragraph justifying why bee-eaters 
should again be ignored - though they have sometimes had to argue hard 
to convince those setting conditions.


        Forty years ago the author of the JAMBA schedules was 
probably pleased to get any bird recognised under international law. The
 same list includes several extinct species and one, the Roper River 
scrub-robin, which we now think never existed.
Today, however, 
such inclusions are seen as at best a waste of time, at worst a major 
unnecessary impediment. So too are the many marine species than never 
touch the sea - including some that never cross water at all if they can
 help it. Birds like Trumpet Manucodes that never fly across water, even
 to islands just offshore, are still listed as marine species.
 errors in listing are more than petty mistakes. They can have major 
ramifications - both for the species they miss and the species wrongly 


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