birding-aus Decline of the Birds Nest Industry.

Subject: birding-aus Decline of the Birds Nest Industry.
From: (Mike Tarburton)
Date: Sat, 27 Nov 1999 18:36:11 +1100 (EST)
Dear list readers

Victor's note was interesting, and I thank you for it.  However, not all
owners of the swiftlet breeding caves in Asia are suffering declines in
their production or income.  This is because they only harvest the nests
twice a year.  Some of them have to use armed guards to stop others
harvesting the nests a third time.

It is those that harvest three times a year that sustain declines.  It is
clear that their greed leads to overharvesting, or harvesting at
unsustainable levels.

In fact on Java it is the species that does not produce an edible nest that
is in most danger.  This is because a team of Medical doctors buys old
houses that have glossy swiftlet colonies in them.  This colony is doomed
for they replace the eggs and nestlings with the eggs and nestlings from
the edible nest species, for they make their profits out of selling the
edible nests.

I met two of the Medicos that do this at the IOC in Christchurch.  They
care for the birds (at least for the species they profit from) because they
profit from them.

Swiftlets are interesting birds.  If anyone wants to see some Glossy
swiftlets, I am studying a colony here that will not be replaced with
either the white or the black-nest species; and you would be welcome to see
them, if you have a spare half day when passing through Port Moresby.



Dr Mike Tarburton
Pacific Adventist University
PMB Boroko
Papua New Guinea

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