Decline of Gurney's Pitta

Subject: Decline of Gurney's Pitta
From: palliser <>
Date: Sat, 20 Dec 1997 13:30:18 +1100
I have to agree, it is indeed such a very grim picture.  Now that I am back
at home I am able to quote properly from the latest OBC (for those who do
not receive this excellent journal).  A lot of what is being said about the
Thailand forests is too depressing to repeat, however under the heading of
"Further Decline for Gurney's Pitta" The following is written: (Nov 97
issue of OBC Bulletin 26)

The rollercoaster ride taken by the world's only known population of
Gurney's Pitta has taken another downward plunge.  Following their
rediscovery of the pitta in lowland forest at Khao Nor Chuchi in 1986
census work by Phil Round and Uthai Treesucon (aided by the OBC's first
ever conservation fund award)logged 38 pairs in 1987.  It was 21 pairs in
1992; this year the population has declined to 10 pairs. And the latest
threats to its forest home in Krabi province present the serious prospect
of extinction for this beautiful bird.  Two roads are being cut through the
30 km2 of forest protecting the dwindling pitta population.  And people
from surrounding villages are taking over the forest land for cultivation.
Sadly, the Thai Forestry Department has been slow to merge the lowland
forest of Khao Nor Chuchi with neighbouring wildlife sanctury of Khao Pra
Bang Kram which was declared to protect Gurney's Pitta.

I visited this area in April of this year and was disturbed not only by the
lack of suitable habitat remaining since my previous visit a year earlier
but by how many times I heard and saw locals hunting with guns inside the
reserve.  I saw two people carrying guns in the forest and heard shots
daily over a 5 day period.  What a waste! and what a depressing job it must
be for Phil Round and his team.  The only hint of any hope for this species
would be if we could somehow increase the amount of habitat (even just
secondary growth)and stop the locals from hunting in the reserve, both of
which may be too much to ask for such a poor community.

Would writing to the forestry department or anyone else help?  Would going
there help? I keep thinking about the problem but am at a loss as to what
to do for the best.


<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • Decline of Gurney's Pitta, palliser <=

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