[Top] [All Lists]

RE: Controlling the use of Playback

Subject: RE: Controlling the use of Playback
From: "Martyn Stewart" <>
Date: Wed, 29 Jun 2005 07:40:57 -0700
This is a forward from Syd.


Martyn Stewart
Bird and Animal Sounds Digitally Recorded at:

N47.65543   W121.98428
Redmond. Washington. USA
Make every Garden a wildlife Habitat!

-----Original Message-----
From: Syd Curtis 
Sent: Wednesday, June 29, 2005 4:15 AM
Subject: Re: Controlling the use of Playback

My thinking was along these lines:

The hope is to avoid getting to court.  The ranger explains to the person
why he or she considers that the particular playback is likely to cause
unreasonable disturbance to a local individual bird of the same species and
that the regulation makes such playback illegal.  He/she then instructs the
person to cease.  If the ranger is doing the job properly, any reasonable
person is going to comply.

If the alleged offender does not comply, the ranger then instructs the
person to leave the park.  The ranger has authority to do this, and it is a=
offence not to comply with such a direction.  Then if circumstances are suc=
that prosecution seems warranted, the ranger proceeds for the offence of
failing to comply with the direction to leave.  It is unlikely, if the
ranger has proceeded correctly, that any court would reject his/her sworn
evidence as to what happened.

OK, so the alleged offender's lawyer could still try to argue that the
playback would not have caused "unreasonable disturbance" to the bird, and
therefore that the ranger was acting beyond his/her authority in directing
his client to leave the park.  However, note that the regulation uses the
wording, "in a way that MAY cause unreasonable disturbance". (My emphasis.)
In effect then, the defence needs to be able to show that the playback coul=
not possibly have caused unreasonable disturbance to the bird.  Rather

And, I would hope, no responsible protected area (sens lat.) management
authority, or properly trained ranger, would be seeking prosecution unless
clearly there was a problem.


> From: "M, J, & V Phinney" <>
> Reply-To: 
> Date: Tue, 28 Jun 2005 07:09:10 -0700
> To: <>
> Subject: Re: [Nature Recordists] recording owl vocalizations
> Sounds like a progressive policy - but who and how is "unreasonable"
> determined? Likely to lead to lengthy court discussions in the USA.
> Mark Phinney
> on 6/28/05 4:38 AM, Syd Curtis at  wrote:
>> Further to the postings quoted below, back in the 1980s I was Assistant
>> Director (Legislation & Policies) in the National Parks & Wildlife
>> of Queensland; a somewhat frustrating job, for it was created to move me
>> away from my previous management role where my natural bias towards
>> conserving nature was interfering too much with the political wheeling
>> dealing of the Service Director.  (I was given what in local public
>> jargon, is know as the "lateral arabesque":   And for that same reason,
>> immediately directed that there were to be no written policies!
>> Which left me with legislation, and my last major task before retiring i=
>> 1988, was to redraft the National Parks Regulations.  Pertinent to
>> considerations was one regulation which at least still existed in
>> Queensland's 1994 Nature Conservation Regulations.
>> After the legal experts had edited my draft, it reads:
>> Noise control
>> 88.(1)  A person must not use a generator, compressor or other similar
>> motor in a protected area -
>> (a) unless its use is permitted under a regulatory notice or permit; or
>> (b) in contravention of a regulatory notice or permit.
>> (2)  A person must not use a radio, tape recorder or other sound or
>> amplifier system in a way that may cause unreasonable disturbance to a
>> person or native animal* in a protected area.
>> I reckoned there was no chance of getting accepted a regulation overtly
>> banning the use of playback unless for purposes that assist in the
>> conservation of the species.  Hence the above approach: if playback
>> unreasonably disturbs a bird, it would be illegal and a ranger could
>> instruct a person to cease.
>> Worth considering?
>> Syd Curtis (in Australia)
>> *  BTW, The Act under which the regulations were made defines "animal" a=
>> "any member of the animal kingdom (other than human), (whether alive or
>> dead), and includes etc., etc. ..."
>> ----------------------
> "Microphones are not ears,
> Loudspeakers are not birds,
> A listening room is not nature."
> Klas Strandberg
> Yahoo! Groups Links


<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • RE: Controlling the use of Playback, Martyn Stewart <=

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the naturerecordists mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU