Fourth Fig Parrot

To: birding aus <>
Subject: Fourth Fig Parrot
From: Russell Woodford <>
Date: Wed, 14 Feb 2007 15:22:42 +1100
Jeff Davies posted the link to this Courier Mail article earlier today, but somehow his message got discarded by the list server:,23739,21222765-3102,00.html

THE State Government has halted investigations into claims a north Queensland man found a new parrot species and its official ornithologist has stopped work on a scientific paper about the bird.

Ingham-based cinematographer and wildlife consultant John Young said the huge flap over the so-called blue-fronted fig parrot had turned his life into a nightmare.

Allegations quickly surfaced that his photographs of the bird, unveiled to a stunned bird-watching community last November, were faked.

Mr Young vehemently denied the claims. He has since bought a special $6000 camera which takes pictures which cannot be digitally altered in the hope of proving that the bird was real. However he said there was no chance he could take more photographs of the fig birds before their mating season which starts in August.

State government ornithologist Dr Ian Gynther has put on hold a scientific report on the bird he was co-authoring with Mr Young.

An Environmental Protection Agency spokeswoman denied it had dissociated itself from Mr Young. But she confirmed it was no longer working with him and said it had not received any material other than photographs to back up his claims.

"The EPA remains open to new evidence that can establish or refute the claim," she said.

John Young Wildlife Enterprises chairman Dr Tom Biggs criticised the EPA over its "lack of support".
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