Fwd: [BIRDING-AUS] collecting birds

To: birding aus <>
Subject: Fwd: [BIRDING-AUS] collecting birds
From: Russell Woodford <>
Date: Fri, 1 Aug 2003 01:29:02 +1000

Begin forwarded message:

From: Goodfellow <>
Date: Thu Jul 31, 2003  7:34:21  AM Australia/Sydney
To: Frank O'Connor <>, Russell Woodford <>, Tony Russell <>, Syd Curtis <>
Subject: Re: [BIRDING-AUS] collecting birds

I mentioned some birds having been collected in the Kimberley. This did
include a couple of birds that I would have found very very hard to
justify.  A big moral dilemma is that you know that the person who has
taken the specimens is one of people doing the most to understand the life
of birds, and contributing a great deal towards their survival.

This made me think about why I don't feel anywhere near as indignant as Tony and others. The main reason that I can think of is that I am aware that far worse happens for mammals, reptiles and insects. It is common practice on many environmental surveys to take "type specimens" for the
locality.  This is probably because the taxonomy is still very fluid?

Russell, would you please put my comments on Birding Aus? I still can't
get through.

Syd, my thoughts exactly.

I've never collected birds except for the occasional roadkill. But as a
biological consultant I often collected (and killed) mammals, reptiles,
fish and amphibians.  Such a specimen was proof for that a species
existed in the area companies wished to mine or otherwise 'develop'! One
example was of a dunnart caught near Katherine in 1989 which turned out
to be an undescribed species until then only known from what is now
Kakadu Stage 3.   On that occasion my field assistant refused to let me
kill the animal.  Luckily I found a dead specimen in a Ghost Bat roost.

But like Syd and my Aboriginal relatives I have many, many more problems
with habitat destruction than with collecting the odd bird or whatever.
For instance huge tracts of land up here have been cleared for mango
orchards.   Okay clearing a block of land whether for a house or an
orchard or a road might be easier for many people to deal with than
shooting an animal or whatever. But just think what it means in terms of
overall survival of various species.
Best wishes

Denise Goodfellow  (Lawungkurr Maralngurra)
61 (0)8 89818492

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