Very much a case of watch this space
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:
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
at Melbourne's RMIT University, cast doubt on a photograph of a
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
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
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
on why Professor Spring's offer to examine the photos was turned
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