Few Bustards in Great Victoria desert

To: Peter Cheuwon <>, birding <>
Subject: Few Bustards in Great Victoria desert
From: Laurence Living <>
Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2001 17:45:59 +1000
Hi Peter

A Remote Area Atlassing expedition to The Great Victoria Desert in July last 
realised less than ten bustards in 500 Atlas surveys.

I saw three around our camp on the Connie Sue during a ten day period and none 
on a ten
day off road Desert crossing from west to east[Marla].

Our Aboriginal escorts claimed the species was common, that hunting had little 
effect on
populations, and that we would record them daily on our surveys. We were asked 
if we
would like to participate in a hunt and taste bustard but declined.

They became so concerned when towards the end of the expedition I had no 
records that I
was asked if 'tracks' would be sufficient to atlas them.

On the day the expedition vehicles separated a bustard was shot and delivered 
to friends
in a community. This happened at some distance from us, to avoid embarassment. 
We were
contacted by CB radio to include it in the Atlas, and given a GPS point for the 

The view that young members of communities shoot bustards for fun and out of 
[just as some of them light fires] was given us by the Elders.


Laurie Living

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