Cannon Netting

Subject: Cannon Netting
From: "Tracey Austin" <>
Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 08:27:20 -0000

The following message was posted today on the ABC Federal Election Forum and is being circulated widely in Australia as a conservation policy issue for the coming federal election. There are calls for a public enquiry into cannon netting and I thought it may interest some of you!

Tracey Austin

The posted message is:

A practice known as cannon netting is used by researchers to catch birds for banding studies, particularly migratory birds such as waders that roost in flocks. A recent study into cannon netting has shown that a mortality rate of 4% is common and that additionally, large numbers of birds are critically injured during the firing process where individuals near the edge of the nets are literally blown apart and decapitation, mutilation and internal injury is a common result.

Furthermore, a culture of gilding the lily has developed amongst some of the researchers who intentionally distort results and hide the damage done from cannon netting because they believe it is an effective method to catch birds and that the means justifies the end result. These same persons also tend to overplay the importance of the information gathered using this process when they say that without their information, conservation strategies to protect migratory birds would not be developed.

An added concern is that a competitive interest between banding teams has resulted in the development of an obsessive approach to catching and banding large numbers of birds, often within protected sanctuary areas just to satisfy target quotas.

The facts are that although banding birds has been a useful tool used in the past for obtaining information about migration, in most circumstances today, technology such as radar tracking, and coordinated bird observing using larger numbers of skilled field observers across the world equipped with excellent field guides and modern powerful optics, video scopes and even night vision glasses and communicating in real time using computers and the internet can provide all the results needed for bird conservation without the damaging impacts caused by banding and cannon netting birds. Cannon netting must be stopped before it is too late, because some of these research groups are now targeting rare and endangered migratory waders such as Knots, Godwits and other types of Sandpipers, many of which are prone to die simply from the stress of being handled.

If you are interested to learn more about this most destructive process, have a look at the hidden debate that has been raging about cannon netting in the Birding-aus web site archive! I am of no doubt that bird banding and cannon netting should be banned and I hope that one day soon the ABC will carry out a public investigation into this most destructive process which is killing many of our rare birds in the name of conservation.

Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at

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