Bustard shooting reference

To: "Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Bustard shooting reference
From: "Robert Read" <>
Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2001 13:26:14 +0930
David Niven wrote
During 1942-43 Bustards were reported as 'fairly common' in suitable
areas and 'many thousands' were shot for food by troops stationed

My belief is that the decline of the bustard has continued long after the
troops left.

In the first Bird Atlas bustards were recorded in all but 3 of the 90+
degree squares on the mainland of the NT.

In the current bird Atlas there have been 70 sightings in 37 squares, if my
count is right.
There have been only 24 sightings in the 54 squares south of 19 S, that is
from Tennant Creek south.
While this could be due in part to the changed methodology I think that at
least in Central Australia a bustard is now a rare enough sight to be worth
an Incidental Search form from most observers.
In the last 4 and a half years I have seen only one bustard, a few sets of
fresh tracks and the odd pile of feathers where one has been cooked and
I lived in Alice for about the same length of time in the 70's, and saw
numerous bustards.
This going to be a very difficult problem to solve.

Robert Read
Alice Springs

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