birds & vineyards

To: Harry Clarke <>
Subject: birds & vineyards
From: Merrilyn Serong <>
Date: Sun, 08 Apr 2001 12:44:47 +1000
I was very interested in Harry Clarke's comments about the vineyards of the Vic
Yarra Valley.  I frequently travel along the Maroondah and Melba Highways
through this area and have been increasingly concerned about the amount of land
taken up by grape vines and also vegetables.  I don't see why these areas have
to be entirely denuded of trees and other native vegetation.  I was just
thinking yesterday that perhaps the government could provide economic incentives
to grape or vegetable growers to set aside a certain proportion of their land
(10%?) for native plants.  The incentives could increase according to the
quality of the vegetation.  This may provide habitat for insectivorous birds
that might be of further benefit to farmers.
Incidentally, I have heard that the grape growers plant roses at the ends of the
rows of vines so that rose colour is co-ordinated with grape type, white roses
indicate white wine grapes, and red roses, red wine grapes.

Harry Clarke wrote:

> Andrew Taylor's comments on birds and the wine industry are apt. I was
> surprised when one Yarra Valley wine producer told me he had a 'licence' to
> shoot birds that 'attacked' his crop.  I didn't even know such 'licenses'
> were available. Are they?
> What is unquestionable is that wine producers, in areas such as the Yarra
> Valley, are turning their vineyards into ecological deserts for all native
> flora and fauna.  Tree clearing is close to 100% in many areas and, even
> where it is not, European weeds usually replace Australian shrubs and trees.
> Domaine Chandon Vineyard, which is within view of the Yarra Ranges, for
> example has virtually no native trees -- roses 'decorate' its vineyards. The
> main birdlife around the vineyards are common mynas.
> It is an easy matter not to drink the wines of producers who do not respect
> the Australian environment and to make it clear why you won't. Such firms
> are not 'adding value' if the social damage they do to the environment
> exceeds profits they make.
> Viticulture in Australia often seems as ecologically destructive as growing
> wheat. The image that winegrowers are nature-loving,  ecologically-aware
> types often seems misplaced.
> Harry Clarke.

Birding-Aus is on the Web at
To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send the message
"unsubscribe birding-aus" (no quotes, no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU