Hi to Peter Ekert: I think he's new to this list.
Camphor Laurels (and the general issue of exotic plants) were discussed a lot
"ages ago" (ie 1997 or 1998) together with questions about the fate of native
laurels and I seem to remember some postings about privets. As always: search
the archive on http://www.deakin.edu.au/~russwood/.
Since then I've become more and more sceptical about exotic plants, despite the
proven short-term value to native birds here in Melbourne of Tree Lucerne. In
the short term, sure they can provide food. But in the long-term ?
For example, "the introduction of fruit bearing trees has provided
concentrated areas for flocking Pied Currawongs to migrate to during the
winter period" - so they are better able to decimate small birds next breeding
Given global warming, increased pollution etc. etc. what our birds really need
is as much eco-restoration as possible (ie. everything from soils, via microbes,
fungi, insects etc. to birds). Only the protection and extension of sustainable
webs of life will enable species to survive in the long-term.
Politicians with mind-sets which see "long-term" as 3 years (or who may - and
this applies to both the major parties - be living in the past) need to be
reminded of their responsibilities for not only the next generation of homo
"sapiens" but for every generation hereafter.
Responsible academics are predicting major losses of species within the next
century, failures of near shore marine ecosystems.... Planting exotics won't
> Dear All,
> The use of exotic vegetation by birds is always of interest. The continued
> planting of exotic plant species by humans in urban gardens will continue to
> provide resources for exotic and native birds (often an exotic is better
> than no tree).
> Some research in the north east of NSW has focussed on the importance of
> fruit bearing trees such as Camphor laurel and privet to rainforest pigeons.
> These plant species have been one of the major factors contributing to the
> increase the numbers of many threatened rainforest pigeons in the region
> (Wompoo, rose-crowned, superb fruit doves).
> In other areas, the introduction of fruit bearing trees has provided
> concentrated areas for flocking Pied Currawongs to migrate to during the
> winter period.
> I am particularly interested in the use of large and small leafed privet by
> birds in the sydney and central coast region. I would be interested to know
> if anyone has any feeding records of birds in privet (large leafed) and if
> and where there are any major privet infestations in the sydney region. I
> am led to beleive that the Picton region has major privet stands (??)
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