Re: breeding sunbirds, constant failures

Subject: Re: breeding sunbirds, constant failures
From: "David Geering"<>
Date: Mon, 27 Apr 1998 08:37:57 +1000
I think we should be very careful before advocating "conspiracy" theories.
Naturally high failure rates among birds are a fact of life, this is likely
to be even more so around human habitation were higher densities of
predators may occur.  If papaya fruit fly control methods are a problem, as
suggested, then this needs to be addressed.  Simply denying DPI access to
properties and preventing them carrying out essential pest monitoring
and/or control can be counter productive, doing nothing for the image of
birders, or birds, among country people.

In many areas it is through rural communities that conservation of our
birds and their habitat, particularly endangered species, start.  Many of
us have worked very hard at cultivating these communities and in a lot of
cases this is now paying dividends with a slow change of attitude and an
associated change on the ground where it really matters.  If such an
"incident" were to happen in the area where I have been active, for
example, without substantial proof it would certainly alienate much of the
community and set the cause back by years.

If fruit fly control is of concern perhaps conservation groups, including
Birds Australia, should investigate and attempt to remedy the situation.
By all means such concerns should be aired, they may prove to be important,
but we should be working towards common goals and this is often best
achieved as a community.

David Geering

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