[Fwd: [BIRDING-AUS] Arsenic and Tawny frogmouth Deaths]

To: "" <>
Subject: [Fwd: [BIRDING-AUS] Arsenic and Tawny frogmouth Deaths]
From: Brian Fleming <>
Date: Tue, 01 Apr 2003 16:48:35 +1000
Must learn to click on second line. Now read on..
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To: michael hunter <>
Subject: Arsenic and Tawny frogmouth Deaths
From: Brian Fleming <>
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2003 17:40:32 +1000
Bogong Moths are suggested as a 'vector' transporting arsenic to their
High Country summer aestivation sites.
According to a couple of texts on Aust. insects, their larvae develop
over winter and spring in pasture country, feeding on broad-leaved weeds
rather than grasses.
Arsenic in the past has had many uses in farming country including
sheep-dip and jetting treatment of sheep; also it was also used in
various mining applications. It occurs naturally in some gold ores.
These days, pressure-treated pine fenceposts and structures are
arsenic-treated - and they do decay in the end.
 Arsenic also occurs quite naturally in the soil in some areas.

Presumably Bogong Moth larvae don't pick up enough to kill them overe
their comparatively short lifetime. One does wonder about the cumulative
effects on insect feeders however.
Incidentally, from what I've read, the aborigines seem to have suffered
no ill-effects from a Bogong Moth diet before the white man arrived -
apart from indigestion at first on a very fatty food, until they got
used to it.

Anthea Fleming
in Ivanhoe, Vic.

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