Magpie destroyed

To: "Andrew Taylor" <>, <>
Subject: Magpie destroyed
From: "Scott O'Keeffe" <>
Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2001 23:43:47 +1000

We should also be urging state authorities to commit the appropriate level
of resources to preventing the establishement of new feral animals.  The pet
trade is a real threat, partly because of the bloody-mindedness of many
animal collectors, who insist on their rights at any cost, to keep exotic

We are probably lucky AQIS took any action at all.  I know that recently,
when alerted to the possible presence of a House Crow in Brisbane, their
comment was "is that a type of meat".  They showed no further interest.  The
Dept of Natural Resources and the EPA could not make up their minds who
should go to have a look, even, since there is no agreement between them on
who handles exotic birds.  The issue was dealt with by some bright spark who
suggested they check out the sighting with a team consisting of an officer
of each department.  In general, quite a lot of effort goes into exotic
plant management in Queensland, but relatively little goes into animal
management.  I should mention here that the Port Of Brisbane deserve a pat
on the back for having brought in feral fox and cat management programs to
reduce the risk of disease introduction and to reduce impact on RAMSAR
wetlands adjacent to the port.

Scott O'Keeffe.

-----Original Message-----
 Behalf Of Andrew Taylor
Sent: 18 March 2001 11:34
Subject: Magpie destroyed

On Fri, 16 Mar 2001, Marilyn Davis wrote:
> Nature is a wonderful and remarkable thing.  After the antics of Aquis

No, we should be complaining that AQIS took several weeks (I believe)
to kill this bird and we should be urging the federal government to
provide AQIS with more resources so it can be more prompt in such actions.

In the last 50 years hopefully the only Australian vertebrate extinctions
have been of frogs - but unfortunately we seem to have lost 8 species
of frogs.

The most plausible cause of these extinctions is a pathogen - a chytrid
fungus.  The pet trade seems the most likely way this pathogen was

Its possible that this Magpie had been involved in the pet trade - perhaps
purchased in Asia as a cage bird.  The risk that it would introduce a
pathogen may be very small - but the cost of such an introduction may
be very high.

Andrew Taylor

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