Re: cannon-netting mortality

Subject: Re: cannon-netting mortality
Date: Tue, 20 Jun 1995 12:31:04 GMT+10
I am not judging either viewpoint here, merely making some 
observations so I hope I don't raise anyones wrath.  
    I am against any unnecesary killing of any animal and am saddened 
by any mortalities caused by cannon-netting (not to mention any form 
of bird-trapping - mist-netting etc).  But where one draws the line 
as to what is necessary is pretty much a personal decision and is 
hardly ever consistently logical but based on emotion etc as well.  
For example,  by driving cars at some stage you are going to hit and 
kill a bird.  This would cause regret to any of us and we'd do 
a lot to avoid it, ie swerving, braking etc but we need to drive 
our cars.  There is a religous group (Jainism?) who go to great 
lengths to avoid any harm to any living animal and apparently take 
care with every step they take and wear cloths over thier mouths to 
avoid swallowing insects- but such lengths would be extreme to most 
of  us. 
    As Laurie pointed out, there is undoubtedly a wealth of data that 
comes from banding waders.  A lot of this is actually useful in 
helping to conserve the birds themselves, eg by identifying migratory 
pathways; by finding that lots of migrants to Australia get eaten by 
people.  Consequently steps can be taken to ensure that stop ever 
places are kept safe from development and educating hunters of waders 
about the need for sustained utilisation of this resource.
    But a lot of the info. is of immediate interest only to ourselves 
and the thirst for knowledge we have.  As David Attenborough showed 
on Tials of Life the other night, an Albatross banded in 1937 in NZ 
is still returning and nesting at the same spot.  That gives me a 
sense of awe and wonder and apprecaition for this bird that could not 
have happened without banding, but it probably didn't help that 
species much, and almost certainly not that individual bird.  The 
debate is really is similar to the scientific collection of birds - 
the sacrifice of a few for the good of our knowledge and perhaps for 
the species itself.  Some see that infringing the rights of a few can 
not be justified even at the good of all - again the amount and type 
of infringement on the indiviual that is justified will vary from 
person to person.
    All in all, cannon-netting has undoubtedly contributed to the 
deaths of many birds but I reckon it's probably saved many others by 
facilitating good conservation and given us a wealth of info.  Whether 
this justifies those deaths is a personal, subjective view.  
Undoubtedly we all need to be aware of how we impact on birds and 
whether we can justify it to others and, perhaps more importantly, to 
    Sorry if this is a waffle and it probaly is only reflecting what 
you all think anyway, but it is an important and interesting issue 
and it would be good to see how others feel.

Sean Pywell.


<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

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 birding-aus 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