Fwd: Birds in the hand, but few in the bush

To: <>
Subject: Fwd: Birds in the hand, but few in the bush
From: "Alastair Smith" <>
Date: Sat, 28 Oct 2000 14:52:47 +1100
>From today's Weekend Australian
Birds in the hand, but few in the bush [News Ltd. The Australian, Rcvd:Oct 
27,10:37:00 EDT]

By: Terry Plane

MANORINA melanotis have received a lot of attention -- and money -- this month, 
and some of them are being moved from Bookmark and Gluepot to Sunset.

 Better known as the black-eared miner, a smallish and sociable but officially 
endangered Australian bird unrelated to the various introduced species of 
mynah, the last 250 of them in the wild live in colonies within Bookmark and 
Gluepot reserves, near Renmark, in South Australia's Riverland.

 Part of a recent $70,000 federal heritage grant to help save the black-eared 
miner will be used to establish colonies at Murray-Sunset National Park in 
Victoria, in similar mallee scrub country to their current habitat.

 ``One decent bushfire could wipe out the entire population in the wild,'' said 
Mark Craig, acting chief executive officer of Adelaide Zoo, during a break from 
yesterday's Australian Bird Taxon Advisory Group meeting.

 Mr Craig sees Adelaide's successful miner breeding program as ``insurance'' 
against a disaster in the bush, such as fire, and says captive breeding could 
be the ``last chance'' for the species.

 The fate of the black-eared miner was on the classification group's agenda, 
with 23 delegates considering conservation, population management, husbandry 
and research issues affecting native species, especially birds in danger of 
extinction and those -- mainly galahs and cockatoos -- popular with poachers 
and smugglers.

 Environment Australia, which worked with Adelaide Zoo and La Trobe University 
to prepare the recovery plan for the black-eared miner, for which Environment 
Minister Robert Hill ear-marked $70,000 from the Natural Heritage Trust 
endangered-species program, believes five colonies of 1000 birds need to be 
established to secure the miner's future.

Source: The Weekend Australian
Publication Date: 28-OCT-2000
Page: 007
Edition: 1


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