Arsenic and Tawny frogmouth Deaths ...

To: Brian Fleming <>
Subject: Arsenic and Tawny frogmouth Deaths ...
From: Penn Gwynne <>
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2003 22:32:32 -0800 (PST)

Well put Anff and Brian .... if there is one thing that we Ozzies should hang our heads in shame about it's being the world's leading user of Arsenic per head over the years. Thee known carryover effects are horrenndous, let alone the unknown but highly suspicious. Salts ain't salts eh?

Yours JAG enjoying watching parrots gnawing on fence palings ... NOT

Brian Fleming <> wrote:

Must learn to click on second line. Now read on..

Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2003 17:40:32 +1000
From: Brian Fleming <>
To: michael hunter <>
Subject: Re: [BIRDING-AUS] Arsenic and Tawny frogmouth Deaths

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 over 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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