re threats to birds and other wildlife
Think we need to be careful re energy sources, we are all at
fault with our cars, need for gas, electricity and the like. I would
rather see more solar, algal diesel plants etc.etc. in this sunny country even
if a few birds are killed than the alternative - coal, fossil oil, oil shale
etc.etc. In Canberra we don't have to face the reality of those industries on a
daily basis so we get a bit negative when anyone builds anything - such as a
solar farm - the one down on the Monaro probably has less impact on the
environment than the DFO and actually will provide something useful.
Re cats - I think their impact on birds is over-done in Australia (unlike
NZ), except for sea-bird and wader colonies and birds (and small mammals)
already made critically rare by other means - mainly direct human - and where
they have a significant effect on population recovery. Impact on other
creatures, such as small reptiles is probably much greater, and under worked.
The Forde/Bonner test could provide data for impact on suburban birds relative
to suburbs nearby where no such controls are in place. Would be
interesting reading, my bet is that little difference will be seen to
populations of species usually found in suburbs in terms of species diversity
and density, though birds will get seen to be taken. Wonder about the skink
populations though? But then there are currawongs and collisions with cars etc.
etc. - i.e. we live in a dynamic environment. Yes, some blue wrens which
now live at my place probably get eaten by local cats, however the only reason
they are there is that gardens (mine certainly does) now provide them cover and,
in spite of predation, they thrive. They were unlikely have been here in
the middle of a open sheep paddock that was here 10 years ago. In other
words its dynamic. None of like seeing a blue wren eaten by a domestic cat
- but that act in isolation may make little difference to the outcome for the
population in a Canberra suburb relative to all the other things going on.
I do support the containment policy there as it will reduce number of
prowling animals in Mulligans Flat and it improves animal welfare.
Disclosure - I own two desexed, chipped, rescued moggies from the RSPCA which
are contained even though I live in a Gungahlin suburb where they don't need to
be, Currently they are both setting, one each side, watching me pen this email -
one of the many reasons why folk have them.
Re cat bells - cans learn how to move silently - I've got one (ex feral
kitten) who is a master, bells and all. Would love to know what sound
frequency the 'sonar beeper' is expected to work at for birds - given that cats
have highly attuned high frequency hearing - for the hunting of mice and the