Peter Waanders wrote:
> Hi all,
> Remember that the SA govt recently lifted the ban on shooting native
> rosellas, parrots etc.? I got a reply to my email to the SA minister
> for environment. It's full of political half-truths and "comfort-zone"
> talk and the most striking argument I found was the following:
> By removing the requirement for destruction permits in some areas, we
> become more strategic in our approach to management for conservation,
> thus strengthening our efforts to conserve all speciesYou can find the
> full text of the reply below. Regards Peter Waanders
> Dear Mr Waanders
> Thank you for your e-mail dated 21 July 1999 to the Premier of South
> Australia, Hon John Olsen MP, regarding the removal of the requirement
> for destruction permits for common native parrots causing damage to
> commercial orchards in a number of districts. As this matter is the
> responsibility of my portfolio as Minister for Environment and
> Heritage, the Premier has asked that I respond on his behalf.
> Removal of the requirement to have a destruction permit is not an
> indiscriminate act. Exemptions from permit are specific to musk
> lorikeets, rainbow lorikeets, Adelaide rosellas and yellow rosellas.
> These species may only be taken within the local government areas of:
> Adelaide Hills, Alexandrina, Barossa, Gawler, Kapunda and Light,
> Marion, Mitcham, Mount Barker, Onkaparinga, Playford, Tea Tree Gully,
> Victor Harbor, Yankalilla, Berri and Barmera, Loxton Waikerie, Mid
> Murray, Murray Bridge and Renmark Paringa. Birds may only be shot
> under circumstances where they are causing damage to commercial
> orchards and vineyards and the only persons authorised to do so are
> the landowners and their employees or agents. In addition, the
> shooting of birds must not contravene the Prevention of Cruelty to
> Animals Act 1985 and the Code of Practice for the Humane Destruction
> of Galahs and Little Corellas by Shooting, the latter available from
> National Parks and Wildlife South Australia and local council offices.
> A species identification pamphlet will be available for orchardists to
> distinguish between exempt and non-exempt species.
> It is important to recognise that the species to which the exemptions
> apply are very common and cause significant damage to commercial
> orchards and vineyards in these areas. The taking of other protected
> bird species or these birds outside of the above conditions without a
> destruction permit is still illegal and people doing so will be
> subject to prosecution.
> An appropriate strategy to minimise the damage caused to a fruit crop
> is to implement a scaring, "reinforced by shooting" program before
> bird damage becomes widespread within the crop. Removing the
> requirement for destruction permits will enable commercial orchardists
> to act quickly and implement a damage control campaign. Depending on
> economic feasibility, region and the species targeted, this approach
> must be integrated with other techniques such as netting, visual
> scaring methods, trapping by professionals, timing of maturing crops,
> orchard location and the planting of decoy crops.
> Since shooting is an adjunct to a scaring program rather than simply a
> means of reducing bird numbers, it is anticipated that the current
> initiative will not noticeably impact upon the populations of the
> species exempted from destruction permits. Growers will only attempt
> shooting during the time that buds are forming or fruit is maturing
> and the birds are causing damage to crops.
> The removal of the requirement for destruction permits was carefully
> planned and considered with a view to improving the State’s
> management for the conservation of native species by:
> a. preventing the concentration of birds on orchards by enabling
> orchardists to implement scaring and shooting programs when birds
> first arrive, thus maximising early deterrent capabilities while
> minimising the number of bird deaths;
> b. enabling National Parks and Wildlife South Australia and
> orchardists to establish a cooperative approach to pest native
> bird management by having practical and integrated management
> systems that are sensitive to more vulnerable species and that
> provide sustainable long-term strategies; and
> c. removing an administrative requirement that was time-consuming
> and costly while not serving a conservation outcome.
> Controlling damage to crops by taking those species to which this
> action applies is not new, destruction permits were previously
> approved as a matter of course when damage was occurring. By removing
> the requirement for destruction permits in some areas, we become more
> strategic in our approach to management for conservation, thus
> strengthening our efforts to conserve all species.
> Thank you for your correspondence on this matter.
> Yours sincerely
> HON DOROTHY KOTZ MP
> MINISTER FOR ENVIRONMENT AND HERITAGE
I didn't (yet) get a reply to my email to Olsen, Kotz etc. but I was
wondering if you would like to write a slightly fuller reaction for the
River News, to be included under the heading:
"Local ornithologists unimpressed with Environment Minister's response
to concerns about culling".
Alternatively, you could simply write a letter to the editor(s) of as
many papers as you like. I think the issue has already been aired enough
in the press for it to be common knowledge.
Atriplex Services (Pronounced A-tree-plex)
Environmental Consultants, Landscaping Contractors,
Native Australian Plant Nursery, Educators.
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