Fig parrot article: The Australian

To: Simon Mustoe <>
Subject: Fig parrot article: The Australian
From: Carl Clifford <>
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2007 15:59:37 +1100
Very much a case of watch this space
Carl Clifford
On 13/02/2007, at 1:49 PM, Simon Mustoe wrote:


  The article concerning the recent fig parrot claim appeared today in
  the Australian and can be read at the link below:

[1],10117,21215200-421,00.html? from=publ

Expert on fake photos queries new parrot claim

  By Greg Roberts February 13, 2007 01:00am Article from The Australian

  THE reported discovery of a new species of parrot in Queensland's
  rainforests has been undermined by a leading authority on forensic

  The Beattie Government has disassociated itself from naturalist John
Young after Gale Spring, associate professor in scientific photography at Melbourne's RMIT University, cast doubt on a photograph of a parrot
  Mr Young claimed was new to science.

  Professor Spring has given evidence in cases such as the
  disappearances of British backpacker Peter Falconio and Victorian
  toddler Jaidyn Leskie.

  In November, Mr Young's company, John Young Wildlife Enterprises, and
  Queensland Environment Minister Lindy Nelson-Carr announced the
  discovery of the so-called blue-browed fig-parrot in the rainforests
  of southern Queensland.

  Mr Young and the Queensland Government's endangered species officer,
Ian Gynther, were to publish a scientific article about the discovery.

  The photograph of the parrot was featured prominently in Brisbane's
  Courier Mail newspaper. At the time, The Australian reported Mr Young
had made similar claims in the mid-1990s which were not substantiated,
  and that there were doubts about the photograph. The bird depicted
  closely resembled the red-browed fig-parrot of north Queensland,
  except the forehead was blue, not red. Soon afterwards, Professor
  Spring was sent a high-resolution image of the photograph.

  At a briefing in Brisbane last week, Professor Spring showed computer
  images of the photo to Dr Gynther and other Environment Department
  officers. He pointed out differences between the texture of feathers
  around the bird's head and feathers on the rest of its body. He
  thought the surface imaging of the photograph was typical of pictures
  that had been altered, and although there might be an explanation for
  this, said he needed to view the original image.

  He offered to examine the original photographs on a CD or under
  supervision at Mr Young's Brisbane office. The inspection would have
  resolved the matter, but the offer was not taken up.

  "Without seeing the original images, it is not possible for me to
  conclude absolutely this photograph is not genuine," Professor Spring
  said. "Nonetheless, I have doubts about several aspects, and this
  clearly requires inquiry."

John Young Wildlife Enterprises chairman Tom Biggs declined to comment on why Professor Spring's offer to examine the photos was turned down.

  MSN Hotmail is evolving check out the new [2]Windows Live Mail


1.,10117,21215200-421,00.html? from=public_rss

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