Re: birding-aus Birdwatching Tourism

To: Jill Dening <>
Subject: Re: birding-aus Birdwatching Tourism
From: Peter Woodall <>
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2000 09:34:27 +1000
At 20:11 13/01/2000 +1100, you wrote:
>Dear everyone, and Chris Dahlberg,
>>        Birdwatching tourism, an ideal "eco" pursuit, would not represent 1%
>>of "Ecotourism" and would only be about 0.25% of general tourism. This is
>>not only Australia but would hold true around the world. Presently in
>>Australia the birdwatching tour operators that I know are participating in
>>the biggest conservation exercise ever undertaken here, the Bird Atlas. etc.
>May I add my own dismay? I work on a bird project at the Sunshine Coast
>University, Qld, which offers a degree in Environmental Science. Aside from
>my work, I spend as much time as I can trying to pass my birdwatching
>experience to students, and I haven't yet encountered an experienced
>birdwatcher among them. (My end goal is to get graduates on the coast who
>are bird-experienced, and aware on the conservation problems.) The vast
>majority of them will come out with a degree without the slightest idea of
>how to identify a bird. I know it's not the only reason they're there, but
>I never cease to be amazed at the total bird ignorance I encounter. These
>are surely the people you would expect to have a bit of bird knowledge or
>It's little wonder that the figures quoted above by Chris are so low.
>So I keep trying. In the morning I am taking a group out to try to teach
>them about how to watch birds. Not individual identification, but general
>approach. When I asked Bob James, another subscriber to this list, if he
>would join us, he agreed, saying incredulously, "You want to teach them
>everything in two hours?"
>See you at 6am, Bob.

If we all had 1/10 the energy and enthusiasm of Jill, they'd be a lot more
birdwatchers out there.

Just to add a little more to this debate, we're off to NZ for a couple of weeks
and hope to see lots of new birds there. We wanted to see kiwis in the wild and
told the travel agent (a NZ'ander herself) that there were guided to tours on
Stewart Is. She knew nothing about it, said she would find out about it - but
came back drawing a blank.... and that's their national bird!
[in the meantime we'd found out the details and made bookings ourselves.]

On the positive, the whale watching and sea-bird watching from Kaikoura seem
to be very popular. If the weather is good, we'll find out for ourselves.

... and did anyone bear to watch Glen Ridge going up to Cape York on TV last
They did show and mention a casowary, then showed some good clips of parrots,
including Eclectus, but made no mention of them, grrrr.


Dr Peter Woodall                          email = 
Division of Vet Pathology & Anatomy             
School of Veterinary Science.             Phone = +61 7 3365 2300
The University of Queensland              Fax   = +61 7 3365 1355
Brisbane, Qld, Australia 4072             WWW  =
"hamba phezulu" (= "go higher" in isiZulu)


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