New Victorian Bird Listings

Subject: New Victorian Bird Listings
Date: Fri, 03 Oct 2003 08:22:56 +1000
Harry Clarke could have asked for more information before
using language which could be used to undermine conservation

I will have to be discourteous and not repeat his subject

The Grey-tailed Tattler was listed under the Victorian Flora
and Fauna Guarantee Act via a recommendation of the
Scientific Advisory Committee to the Minister.  The SAC has
to respond to any proper nomination (and can chuck out
vexatious nominations no worries).

The recommendation was: 1) because "the taxon is in a
demonstrable state of decline which is likely to result in
(State) extinction" and 2) "The taxon is very rare in terms
of abundance or distribution"

The supporting information includes reference to the article
called "Red Alert - a crash in populations of some migrant
wader species in southern australia" by Jim Wilson of the
AWSG in the Tattler no28 June 2001 (and reprinted in the
MCCN's Victorian Regional Ripples in Summer 2001).

This article shows that counts of 8 shorebird species in
Southern Australia have declined over 20 years while noting
that others have been stable (five are named including Ruddy
Turnstone - which like the Tattler feeds at times on rocky
shores). The average counts of the Tattler at the monitoring
sites fell from 51 in 1981-85 to 9 in 2001.  (About 20 are
estimated to visit Victoria still.)

The SAC recommendation adds "the most likely reasons for the
decline being due to threats acting on the taxon in other
countries on the flyway..."

As to the Action Statements/management plans now required
you will have seen from Lawrie Conole's posting the other
day that there is a substantial backlog.

I am sure the Victorian authorities fully recognise that the
most important action at this point in relation to the
Grey-tailed Tattler is advocacy and appealing for more
thorough recording (yes Martin I will send the AVW forms
soon!) and that scientific resources should be concentrated

For my part I will be trying to let the public know about
the Tattler that has visited Ricketts Point, in my area,
recently as an individual bird to cherish and as a symbol of
what is happening to the flyway.

The SAC and Martin should be congratulated on doing their
job systematically, using the legal criteria (see, and
with the minimum of fuss.

The alternative is political.

Michael Norris
Hampton, Victoria lat 38° 56' S long 145° 1' E

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