Collecting Birds

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Subject: Collecting Birds
From: "Alan Morris" <>
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2003 17:33:39 +1000
Hi Birders,
I have read the many comments about the issue of the legal collecting of a Yellow Chat in South Australia. I for one think that this issue has now gone too far and it seems to me to have become a personal vendetta against the people who wrote the article in the South Australian Ornithologist. I certainly don't want to be part of that.
There is a place for legally procured museum specimens that have good accompanying data associated with skeleton remains,  location, sex, breeding condition and moult information. The problem with many earlier collected museum specimens is that  they have none to very little, sex or location details etc. To stir up this issue could result in the stopping of legal collecting. To stop the legal collection of specimens denies information to taxonomists and people like myself who occasionally visit museums to check out skins and plumages etc.. I for one, collect good quality roadkills and beach cast specimens for Museums but that should not be their only source of materials, because many smaller birds and larger birds for that matter, cannot be sourced in this way.
If only all the angst generated by this event could be used to object to the Victorian & South Australian Governments against the illegal and legal killing of birds in vineyards, particularly in set nets for grape protection, where many birds like Grey-crowned Babblers and flycatchers get caught and die, and for "crop protection" in those States, and in NSW where hunters kill 70,000 waterbirds per year as part of ricecrop protection, not to mention Queensland where the clearing of land continues which has an incredible negative effect on many woodland species. Puts that poor one little Yellow Chat into a bit of perspective.
Alan Morris
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