Australian Bustard and the Atlas

Subject: Australian Bustard and the Atlas
From: "Niven" <>
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2001 21:01:13 +0930
Greetings all,
I hate to have to be parochial, but to those denying there's a 
Bustard problem....
whenever I travel any distance by road I have to pass through areas 
where I used to see Bustards pretty regularly, but where I no longer 
see them. Those who think the change in the Atlas methodology 
may affect the reporting rate of Bustard may well be right and I 
have no argument with them. But, it's an observable 'fact' that 
Bustard numbers have declined in the Top End, NT. Without 
rushing to put the bird on the endangered list I don't want to go the 
other way either, and rationalise away their 'rarity' by saying that 
methodology is the problem and that we can pretend they're as 
common as ever. They're not!!
Clearly numbers have declined. I would welcome anyone that had 
the time and resources to do a 'scientific' study of their abundance 
up here but I doubt that will occur, for a number of reasons (after 
all, I have many reasons that I can't do it myself, and I live quite 
It seems patently obvious to me that the reduction in records to the 
extent shown in the Atlas, even given the different methodology, 
should be ringing alarm bells. We ignore these alarm bells at the 
birds' peril. We try to shut off the alarm at our OWN peril!

Happy birding

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