Australian Bustard Decline (Kimberley)

To: Lawrie Conole <>
Subject: Australian Bustard Decline (Kimberley)
From: Laurie & Leanne Knight <>
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2001 18:02:42 +1000
Lawrie Conole wrote:
> > 1. Hunting with guns is not traditional wildlife harvesting.
> Hunting is traditional though; just not part of my tradition.  Firearms have
> been part of the scene in Australia now for 200 years.  When will they
> become 'traditional'?

I'll accept that hunting with guns and cars is traditional when
McDonalds is regarded as traditional food, when rock and roll is
regarded as traditional music, and graffiti is regarded as traditional

Seriously, I think there is a distinction between "traditional hunting"
and hunting on traditional lands or hunting for traditional purposes.

> > 3. I'm not sure that the status of wild emus is sound.  Sure farmed emus
> What about shearwaters then? ... or Tasmanian Pademelons, or Brushtail
> Possums, or .........?  Some native species *are* hunted and can sustain
> hunting/harvesting, even in the dysfunctional post-1788 conditions, and are
> managed with that fact explicit.  I don't think it helps bustards for us to
> say "They're rare & it's illegal to kill them, therefore we'll exclude any
> consideration of that in our management plans".

The species that can sustain harvesting are highly fertile and
adaptable.  As the kiwis will tell you, possums are an invasive species
[like carp] so they can easily sustain harvesting.  You are drawing a
long bow if you say that because you can hunt species like possums and
shearwaters that the current shooting of bustards is sustainable.

Whether you give the nod to the hunting/harvesting of a species should
depend on how that species is faring.

The issue for we birdwatchers is how our actions are affecting
threatened birds.  For example, twitchers who play tapes and disturb
sensitive species [such as bristlebirds] or people who scare wildlife
away from waterholes or nests are little better than people who go out
and shoot birds.

Regards, Laurie.
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