Problems at Earth Sanctuaries

Subject: Problems at Earth Sanctuaries
From: Tony Crocker <>
Date: Thu, 17 Jan 2002 15:42:50 +1300
Hi all

This is not really about birds, is it! But clearly it is about something we
all hold dear, and that is native biodiversity. Andrew Taylor has hit one
thing on the head for me - if you are going to run a business you need to
run it in a business-like manner, not brow-beat people into supporting you
by making them feel guilty. There's a "bird park" operator not too far from
here who regularly berates people in the local media for not supporting his
"conservation" mission, despite the fact that his handful of native birds
plus peafowl, feral geese etc to me do not add up to much in terms of
conservation value.

It has also been said (and I can see both sides of the argument) that
concentrating on small, predator-free reserves obscures the major issue -
working to restore the wider, damaged ecosystem - and may act as a placebo
by giving people a feel-good factor about otherwise on-going damage.

But in addition, and back to the theme of doing business - I am a tour
operator in NZ and took a group to SA in 1999. We spent a night at
Warrawong, near Adelaide, for which we paid handsomely. The sanctuary was
interesting, the accommodation good (though they stuffed up the booking),
the dinner excellent. However the attitude of staff was at best mixed and at
worst appalling, dinner took hours to appear, breakfast was a disaster. Net
result - extremely unhappy campers. My 2001 SA tour didn't include


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