To: "Birding-aus" <>
Subject: bustards
From: "Michael J Hunter" <>
Date: Sun, 11 Mar 2001 21:06:03 +1100
      Birding-aus is a forum for debate about birds. Like everyone else,
birdwatchers have, and are entitled to have, political views, but
Birding-aus is not the place to stifle legitimate debate about birds by
invoking aboriginal rights.  Political correctness and reality are different
things, and a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
     For instance, if an island colony of Roseate Terns was wiped out when
all its eggs were collected by "semi-traditional" hunters in a helicopter,
would this be OK?  Roseate Terns  are not common in Australian waters, one
colony in the Gulf of Carpentaria comprises a big proportion of the
Australian population. Or would it be politically incorrect to mention such
a thing?
    There is no doubt that huge numbers of Bustards were wiped out by
non-indiginous hunters using guns, but the keyword is "guns", Bustards are
an easy target for anyone with a gun. Several hundred hunters of any
description taking "only a few" each year in the Kimberly wouldn't leave
many.  Is it acceptable to suggest that indiginous hunters leave some areas,
such as Roebuck Plains off limits to guns?
    If I was an indiginous Australian, I would be offended by the suggestion
that Governments in effect farm Bustards and feed them out to be shot by
semi-traditional hunters. I would like to think the aborigines could do it

                                    Michael Hunter
                                    Mulgoa Valley
                                    50km west of Sydney Harbour Bridge

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