Subject: Ferals
From: Lawrie Conole <>
Date: Wed, 27 Apr 2005 14:31:49 +1000

The second is that I feel it is important to report sightings of feral species. How else do you generate data on range expansion or increases in numbers? One can't just put one's head in the sand (merely an expression - not for a moment suggesting this is the case here) and pretend that ferals will go away if we ignore them. I suggested a little while ago that it's about time that someone (ie government) drew a line in the sand and attempted to arrest the spread of Common Mynas into areas they don't currently occupy. We can only lobby for this (is Birds Australia making such a stand?) if we have the data to suggest that this species is continuing to spread.

Good point well made David.

I think the background here is partly a reflection of the nature of various kinds of 'birding'. Pure recreational birding with no imperative to leave an inventory record anywhere for future reference is likely to leave out the perceived undesirables - ie. "I'm not interested in ferals, so why remind myself of their presence?". As David has suggested though, often the only data we have for the current/expanding/decreasing range of many of these pests comes from just such a source - recreational birding - as the kind of survey effort required to cover Australia with methodologically precise surveys is just economically and practically unfeasible. Many of Australia's existing feral birds are still expanding their ranges - some like the Common Myna and Blackbird very vigorously - others like the Song Thrush more slowly and insidiously. Other new feral species are establishing, or are likely to.

Please always note ferals on your area lists, and moreover, please always contribute your area/site lists to one of the state government atlas databases, or to Birds Australia's ongoing Atlas.

*Lawrie Conole
*/Senior Ecologist
Ornithology & Terrestrial Ecology
Ecology Australia Pty. Ltd.
/Flora and Fauna Consultants/
88B Station Street
*FAIRFIELD VIC 3078 Australia*
Ph: (03) 9489 4191; Mob: (0419) 588 993
Fax: (03) 9481 7679
ABN 83 006 757 142

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