Cannon Netting Poll

To: "sonnenburg" <>, <>
Subject: Cannon Netting Poll
From: Ronald Orenstein <>
Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2001 19:53:15 -0500
At 10:09 AM 06/03/01 +1000, sonnenburg wrote:
Let us hear from the critics!!

From a North American perspective, I think that members of the list should not consider simply what happens when cannon-netting occurs, but why people do it in the first place.  Since waders are so highly migratory, and pass through the territory of so many different countries, it is absolutely essential for their conservation that we have the clearest possible idea of the migration paths, staging areas, and wintering grounds that must be protected to ensure the survival, not just of the birds as a whole, but of each individual species.  This is not simply a matter of gathering up the cash and protecting an area; the information from procedures like cannon-netting may be essential ammunition for those who are trying to persuade governments to act in the birds' best interests, even to the extent of cooperating internationally by means of legal instruments such as the Convention on Migratory Species of Animals and its subsidiaries like the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) (see

For details on a project involving the study of waders from Canada to Brazil in Argentina, check out the website of the Western Atlantic Shorebird Association (at, which is operating an extensive program involving cannon netting.  From the site:

"The first research project to be part of WASA is the International Banding Project which is being led by Professor Allan Baker, Canada and Patricia M. González, Argentina. This project is colour-banding Red Knots (Calidris canutus rufa), Sanderlings (Calidris alba) and Ruddy Turnstones (Arenaria interpres) along the Atlantic coast of the Americas in an effort to establish their migratory strategies.
The primary goals of this project are to:
·       Assess the population sizes for the three species, especially Red Knots, from colour band resightings
·       Find arctic breeding areas for Red Knot and estimate annual rates of recruitment for the population
·       Monitor the patterns of moult and fat deposition in migrating flocks
·       Establish the primary stopover sites for these shorebird species on the Flyway"

I think that any discussion of the benefits or evils of this technique will be incomplete without an assessment of the value of the information it provides, and, for those that do not like it, some suggestion about either why this data is not needed (which I certainly dispute) or how it could be achieved in a way that they would support.

Ronald I. Orenstein                           Phone: (905) 820-7886
International Wildlife Coalition              Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116
1825 Shady Creek Court                
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 3W2         

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