To: <>
Subject: sparrows
From: "Geoff (BT)" <>
Date: Sun, 26 Feb 2006 21:28:01 -0000
Hi Ricki & Birding Aussers

I can't feel any great sympathy for the decline in introduced species. Yes,
House Sparrow & Starling are in decline here in the UK, but they are not
exactly disappearing, both are still pretty common, they have declined from
their previous abundance. But they are still species you would have a hard
job avoiding here, and remain among the most visible birds in the UK.

What concerns me most greatly is not that a species that is in a comparative
decline here in the UK & is also in decline in places where it has been
introduced, but the effect they may have on the native Australian birds the
introduced species could be displacing or out-competing. Sparrows &
Starlings are both successful species in the old world, even if in a
decline, there are so many concerns I have for native birds that might
otherwise be so much more plentiful were it not for the intervention of man.

Any of you that also subscribe to message from sources like Surfbirds, will
have seen the debate in recent times concerning the spread of Ruddy Ducks
(from North America) that were allowed to escape in the UK 40-50 years back
& now threaten their nearest European relative by hybridisation, the
White-headed Duck. I take the view (not shared by everyone here by any
means), that the preservation of White-headed Duck outweighs any right to
life, if I can use that turn of phrase, of the Ruddy Duck in the UK. It has
no right to be here in the first place. Same applies to House Sparrow &
Starling in Australia & elsewhere, any decline in their native range has no
bearing on their status in their introduced range. Perhaps that viewpoint
should be ameliorated if the species is threatened in its native range, but
that patently isn't the case here.

To paraphrase Winston Churchill with a tad of tongue in cheek, I believe in
kill the introductions, kiss the natives !



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