Frieds of the Canberra International Arboretum and Gardens

To: "Shaun Bagley" <>
Subject: Frieds of the Canberra International Arboretum and Gardens
From: "martin butterfield" <>
Date: Tue, 7 Oct 2008 20:50:43 +1100

Many thanks for the very informative response. 

My bottom line purpose in my message was to raise the issue of the obsevations by this group getting into the COG database(s).  Once the data is collected and analysed it will be possible to refute or possibly prove the view expressed - perhaps a little cycnically - in my final sentence.

Certainly received wisdom is that a patchwork should attract more species (and not just of birds) than a monculture.

Good luck with getting access to the site and developing a survey regime. 


On Tue, Oct 7, 2008 at 8:20 PM, Shaun Bagley <> wrote:

Martin et al.


As a member of FCIAG, I too was a little surprised to see this statement when the brochures were first produced.  Since then I discovered this was initiated by another member of FCIAG who is not a COG member but does bird surveys at Tidbinbilla.


I informed Chris Davey about this and we agreed that a baseline survey with ongoing surveys would be worthwhile ( provided I am prepared to put my money where my mouth is and do some coordinating).  Chris has undertaken to examine the site to determine the best type of survey so that the longer term records have relevance.  Unfortunately  there are considerable restrictions on access to the site currently , for understandable reasons, and calendars of Presidents of both organisations are full, so the coordination to effect this has yet to be achieved.  For instance, I am away for the next 2 weeks plus and I am aware that Chris is likewise occupied until the end of the month.


Having been on site and also clearly decided this is a worthwhile project, but understanding that there are member of COG who have reservations about the concept of CIAG (and suggest we will only find a white elephant with splashes of red),  I think we would be remiss in not observing what happens over the years as this develops.  The results will contribute to knowledge that we do not have now.


For instance it will prove or disprove your suggestion that it will be of limited interest to the local avifauna.  I think that it will actually be more attractive to some species, and am quite prepared to be surprised as to which those are, based on my own observations in arboretums around the world.  The diversity of species of trees with the accompanying gardens (ultimately 100 of each), and hence the landscape, will provide opportunities that will only become apparent with the test of time.  The patchwork nature of CIAG is not the same as extensive monocultural forests of Pinus Radiata or other commercial endeavours. Keep in  mind that Canberra gardens have provided some food sources that natives did not have available before.


Without pre-empting what kind of surveys will be done, I would entertain expressions of interest from COG members who might want to be involved in surveys, once we determine what kind will be most effective.


Shaun Bagley




From: martin butterfield [
Sent: Monday, 6 October 2008 7:59 PM
Subject: [canberrabirds] Frieds of the Canberra International Arboretum and Gardens


A friend has handed me a copy of a flyer by this organisation, apparently being handed out at Floriade.  I was intrigued to see that oe of their interest groups is "Bird observation and  documentation".  Has COG got any arrangements with this group so that their observations enter the COG database?

Looking at the list of species they mention in the flyer (including ginkgo, sequoia, dracena, various oaks) it would seem to be an area of limited interest to most of the local avifauna.


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