Cannon Netting

Subject: Cannon Netting
From: (Chris Gladwin)
Date: Tue, 20 Jun 1995 16:56:00 +0000
     I too am torn over the merits of this practice.  However, on overall 
     reflection I would consider that I am, today, totally against it.  As 
     others have said, it has contributed to conservation and that is great 
     but... Surely there gets a point when it is no longer contributing 
     useful data.  We now know the flight paths and volumes of birds 
     involved.  Why continue to kill these birds?  Cannon netting needs to 
     be confined to the history books.
     I believe the kills are only the tip of an iceberg.  What about the 
     disturbance caused to the birds and thier habitat?  Waders have too few 
     places to feed and roost at the best of times.  When they are 
     cannon-netted they can't roost or feed.  They expend energy needlessly 
     which has to be made up.  If you are just about to fly to Siberia and 
     are trying to put on as much weight in as little time as possible then 
     the last thing you need is to be scared ****less.  On the other hand, if 
     you've just flown from Siberia and managed to dodge the Chinese and 
     you're on your last legs with not a gram of fat on you then also the 
     last thing you need is a bunch of cannon netters harrassing you.  
     Perhaps it should be banned during migration periods?
     What really bugs me is that cannon netters always deny that they kill 
     birds.  And yet all of us who have witnessed it recall that birds are 
     killed in just about every netting.  I once went up to Kooragang to view 
     the roost.  Had planned it for several weeks and looked forward to it.  
     Only to find that the netters had got there before us and not a bird in 
     site.  Goodness knows where they were because they have no where else to 
     go.  The birds  would have gone without their meal that day as the best 
     feeding times for waders are as the tide falls.  They can't feed at high 
     tide nor efficiently at low tide.  What's more, I was told that 20 
     Eastern Curlews had died in the nets - shock and heat exhaustion.  This 
     species is in the red data book and it is quite scandalous that even one 
     should die.  The site is a RAMSAR site that Australia is obliged by 
     international law to protect.  What a sham.  
     And on the subject of Long-billed Dowitchers - assuming that the net was 
     specifically set to catch the two birds - what on earth could be gained 
     from banding a vagrant?  How many waders died in the process (remember - 
     not just at the time the nets were sprung but later from shock).  
     Banding specifically for waders whether it be in mist or canon nets only 
     serves the bander and no-one else. 

 Chris Gladwin.

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