Australian Bustard and the Atlas

To: "Messages Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Australian Bustard and the Atlas
From: "Bob Forsyth" <>
Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2001 21:39:46 +1000
g'day all,
Peter Ewin wrote in part (13/3/01)....
"Just a quick comment on the decline of Bustards and Emu in the Atlas. Is
this really the case, or has the change in methodology had an effect? Both
these species are large and obvious, and would be easily recorded in a 10
minute grid square, particularly from a moving vehicle (most of the records
I have heard of in NSW are from people driving on remote roads). However, I
would think they are less likely to be recorded in a smaller search. Does
anyone have any thoughts on this?"
I agree that the new Atlas would not list as many records as the 1st Atlas for the same number of sightings. The current form does not lend itself to making records when travelling from A to B.
They, like the Emu (and Raptors) are usually seen in isolation and are not the type of bird that would be recorded in a 100m X 200m search.
Now some memories...
About 25 years ago I saw many 100's feeding on the black soil plains along the Gregory River on the road to Burketown. They were everywhere as far as the eye could see.
In the early days of Mount Isa they were shot for the Sunday roast...but not now that we have supermarkets.
I still see Bustards fairly regularly..even close to town. On one occasion one was feeding on an empty industrial block next to a large fabricating plant.
Last week, for the first time I even bothered to stop the car and note the different breast band markings of a pair poking their way through some thick spinifex.
Regards, Bob Forsyth, Mount Isa, NW Qld.

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