Oops, sorry Mick. One of those days.
> On 23 Dec 2013, at 17:34, Mick Roderick <> wrote:
> Carl - that is not about endemic species, it is about threatened species (and
> includes figures on the number of threatened endemic species). Neither Brazil
> nor Peru or Colombia has the highest number of endemic (i.e. "endemic" in the
> definition of "not occurring elsewhere") bird species.
> Australia has somewhere around 350 species of endemic birds (not far under
> half of species recorded not including offshore island vagrants) and up to 5
> endemic families (all depending on taxonomy of course!). We are second only
> to Indonesia. I can't find the references right now, but a good place to
> start looking is at
> We also rate very highly (top 3) for plants, reptiles (I think we're #1),
> mammals and amphibians.
> Thanks Denise for clarifying that point. I'm still surprised and I would have
> thought Indonesia (or even the Philippines) would have come out on top. I
> wonder if anyone can clear this up with a solid reference?
> On Monday, 23 December 2013 5:00 PM, Carl Clifford <>
> Actually, Brazil has the highest number of endemic bird species (152 spp),
> followed by Peru.(128) and Indonesia (122), according to BirdLife
> International. See: http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/sowb/casestudy/112
> Carl Clifford
> > On 23 Dec 2013, at 15:20, Denise Goodfellow <>
> > wrote:
> > Hi Mick
> > Good to hear from you. My understanding is that Colombia has more endemic
> > species (fauna and flora) than any other countryP.
> > Regards
> > Denise
> >> On 23/12/13 7:18 AM, "Mick Roderick" <> wrote:
> >> Hi Denise - a slight amendment to your second paragraph - remove the word
> >> "endemic" from the second sentence. I think Indonesia makes that claim,
> >> with
> >> Australia second.
> >> But then, maybe you're not talking about birds in that sentence??
> >> Mick
> >> On Sunday, 22 December 2013 11:42 AM, Denise Goodfellow
> >> <> wrote:
> >> Recently I flew to Colombia as a guest of that government, to participate
> >> in
> >> the Colombian Bird Festival held at Manizales in the department of Caldas
> >> I was one of two intercontinental speakers. The invitation came from
> >> Sergio
> >> Ocampo-Tobòn, a past President of the Colombia Birding Network and founder
> >> of the Festival.
> >> It is most appropriate that Colombia has a Bird Festival - it has over 1870
> >> bird species; probably nearer 1880 now - photos of some newly discovered
> >> species were shown for the first time at the Festival . Indeed, Colombia
> >> is
> >> a megadiverse country and has more endemic species than any other,
> >> although by area it is only about 1/8th the size of Australia.
> >> Much has been written about Colombia that is negative. Much has also been
> >> written about the airline on which I travelled, Aerolineas Argentina, that
> >> was also negative. Armed with that knowledge and a travel itinerary I
> >> couldn’t interpret, I set out with some trepidation. The first November
> >> cyclone to hit the Top End in forty years delayed travel by a day, not an
> >> auspicious omen.
> >> But instead of an old aircraft with broken seats, dirty toilets, terrible
> >> food and disinterested cabin crew, I found a spanking new airbus, a
> >> spotless
> >> interior and crew that almost rivalled Qantas in their professionalism.
> >> Although I didn’t speak the language, and was unfamiliar with the culture I
> >> never felt isolated or unsafe. Some stranger always came forward to help
> >> a professional woman; a young man; a primary school student; and even when
> >> they didn't, somehow I could always make myself understood
> >> The hotel, Recinto del Pensamiento, where I was to stay, was the equal of a
> >> four-star hotel in Australia, and Manizales, far from being a hotbed of
> >> ongoing revolution or guerrillas, was a beautiful city that in many ways
> >> resembled Adelaide in appearance and pace, except it was perched on a ridge
> >> in the mountains, and had more universities (twelve in all)!
> >> Recinto was also the site of the Bird Festival. The launch began with the
> >> playing of the national, department and city anthems to which we all stood.
> >> Maria Claudia Garcia-Gomez , the President of COTELCO, the national hotel
> >> and tourism association, launched the Festival The next day, the Governor
> >> of
> >> the state of Caldas, Julian Gutierrez-Boter, came to speak. Both
> >> highlighted the importance of birdwatching tourism as did Felipe Rincon
> >> Cardenas, President of the chain of hotels of which Recinto de Pensamiento
> >> was one. Over lunch he told me of the involvement of coffee growers in
> >> supporting birdwatching.
> >> While some speakers highlighted the diversity of birds and other wildlife
> >> in
> >> their regions, others talked about conservation problems - including
> >> authorities such as Dr. Juan David Arango Gartner who addressed urban river
> >> issues, and Andrea Ferreira of Paraguay who spoke for the preservation of
> >> biodiversity of grasslands. Andrea is the Sustainable Tourism Coordinator
> >> for an NGO. She said that cattle are monitored on the pampas and are
> >> shifted
> >> around to allow grassland to recover for nesting and feeding birds. Her
> >> organization is also working with farmers to improve roads and vehicles so
> >> that they can have visitors on their country.
> >> Juan Paulo was a most inspirational speaker. Born blind in 1986 he taught
> >> himself to recognise thousands of different birds calls. Working with 25
> >> 000 bird records in a lab, he can recognize the bird, the time of day it is
> >> calling, the natural environment and “the sounds of the earth”. In
> >> grassland JP recorded 10-12 species singing all at once and could identify
> >> them all. Furthermore he could pick out 25 tones in one call.
> >> Uttej Rao, the only other intercontinental speaker, talked of birding in
> >> Gujarat, a state in India that shares a border with Pakistan. He said that
> >> locals considered it a sin to kill birds and so the birds were unafraid of
> >> humans and in large numbers.
> >> Guto Carvalho spoke about birding in Brazil. The population of that
> >> country
> >> is 250 million, of which about 30 000 are birders. But the interest is so
> >> great that Gutto estimates it will reach 1 million in a few years. He said
> >> that birdwatching tended to be internal with relatively few birders
> >> traveling to Brazil from other countries.
> >> I spoke on the threats to north Australian grasslands/floodplains and
> >> woodlands from weeds, destructive fires, cyclones and sea level rise.
> >> Several speakers mentioned the importance of working with communities, but
> >> because I didn't always have a translator I cannot comment on their
> >> particular approaches. However one, Luis Fernando Jaramillo, spoke of his
> >> work with Indigenous people and birds which included attempting to limit
> >> their attempts to force those people off their lands. Later, with Juan
> >> Paulo translating I told him of Top End Indigenous rangers allegedly
> >> forced
> >> to resign to the detriment of parks they'd once looked after, and of course
> >> visitors. I couldn’t help but compare the empathic reaction of Luis and
> >> others at the Festival to the response of some at the Wildlife Tourism
> >> Australia workshop where I first raised the issue.
> >> At morning tea I got my first look at the birds of Recinto Great and
> >> Snowy
> >> Cattle Egret, Great Blue Heron, American Vulture, Southern Lapwing, Eastern
> >> and Tropical Kingbird, White-collared Swift, Rufous-collared Sparrow and
> >> House Wren. Because I had no guide I mostly had to figure out what I was
> >> seeing myself, checking with Sergio whenever I could. Other birds I knew
> >> from the US. At other breaks I saw Cattle Egret, Black Phoebe, Bananaquit,
> >> Pale-edged Flycatcher, Palm Tanager, Great Thrush, Saffron Finch, Lesser
> >> Goldfinch and Yellow-bellied Siskin.
> >> On the last day I at last had the chance to climb the mountain behind
> >> Recintos to visit the hummingbird house. However I had to return early to
> >> sort out my itinerary, really the only low point of the whole trip. If I'd
> >> taken my scheduled flight back to Bogotá, I stood a good chance of missing
> >> my connecting flight to Buenos Aires. Sorting out the mess took hours and
> >> caused poor Natalia, the lass trying to fix it, much despair.
> >> Then I discovered that all the photos I’d taken of birds and the conference
> >> were missing. Others had scheduled a trip to see antipittas in the
> >> afternoon but I decided to return to at least try to record some of the
> >> hummingbirds again.
> >> Species at the hummingbird house included Sparkling and Green Violet-ear,
> >> Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Speckled Hummingbird, Buff-tailed Coronet,
> >> Bronzy
> >> Inca, and White-bellied Woodstar. Hopping around the fuschias and other
> >> potted shrubs was a little black bird with an upturned beak White-sided
> >> Flowerpiercer.
> >> A general article on my visit has already been published on the web
> >> <www.impress.com.au> and I'll be writing another in January (for The
> >> Weekend
> >> Australian) plus another more focused on the birds for a US birding
> >> journal.
> >> Lastly, I have no hesitation in recommending Manizales and its department
> >> of
> >> Caldas to birders and other wildlife enthusiasts. Indeed Colombia has much
> >> to offer all sorts of visitors. And incidentally I've felt far more unsafe
> >> walking the streets of Darwin than I ever felt in Colombia. If anyone
> >> would
> >> like more information please don't hesitate to contact me.
> >> My thanks to the Birding Aussers who kindly sent me information. I wish
> >> you
> >> all the happiest of New Years.
> >> Regards
> >> Denise Lawungkurr Goodfellow
> >> PO Box 71, Darwin River,
> >> NT 0841
> >> 043 8650 835
> >> PhD candidate, SCU
> >> Vice-chair, Wildlife Tourism Australia