Percentage of birders in Australia

Subject: Percentage of birders in Australia
From: Peter Thomson <>
Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2007 14:52:55 +1100
Last year, as a active member of both main birding organizations, I attempted to list some of the reasons why I believe membership is worthwhile. The list was compiled with the help of other members of each or both birding organizations and may well have been expanded or modified since it was first submitted for discussion on the future of one organization. Some of the listed points may no longer be correct because of recent chances to both organizations. At the time there was no input from non-members and after reading the 'Percentage of birders in Australia' thread over recent weeks I think that it may be interesting to receive feedback from members of a community of computer literate birdos (who are probably still a minority of the total birding community).

Birding organizations provide opportunities for members to:
1. Enjoy and contribute to publications such as 'The Bird Observer' & 'Wingspan'

2.     Attend birding outings and educational activities.

3.     Access information (libraries, websites etc.)

4.     Buy birding books, optics and gifts at significant discounts.

5. Get more enjoyment from, and appreciation of, the natural environment.

6.     Enjoy and contribute to an enthusiastic social network.

7.     Belong to local/regional groups.

8.     Encourage and inspire other members and non-members.

9.     Learn and teach about birds and their habitats.

10.  Support environment conservation activities.

11.  Support graduate and post-graduate students.

12.  Help in the development of policies.

13.  Influence submissions to planning authorities.

14.  Enjoy being volunteers for worthwhile non-profit organizations.

Birding organizations benefit the community by providing:

1.     Friendly information services to the general community.

2.     Retail sales outlets for birding books and equipment.

3.     Educational resources suitable for all age groups.

4.     Sorting houses for community observations of birds.

5.     Potential early warning systems of environmental changes.

6.     Opportunities for responsible eco-tourism.

7. Influential lobby groups able to act on behalf of birds and bird habitats.

8.     Sources of finance for selected community biodiversity projects.

9. Assistance with, and/or support for, funding applications to government and non- government agencies, philanthropic trusts etc.

Birding organizations benefit the birds by providing:

1. General hazard reduction through improved awareness and appreciation of wild birds and the promotion of ethical birding.

2. Improved breeding and survival prospects through the protection, enhancement and expansion of specific habitats.

3. Encouragement/ persuasion of planning authorities to consider biodiversity issues in all decision making.

4. Support for academic study - Ornithology and other Environmental Sciences.

Birding organizations benefit ecosystems by:

1.     Promoting the scientific study of ecosystems.

2. Conducting ongoing surveys, both formal and informal, to detect significant changes.

3. Encouraging enthusiastic and knowledgeable volunteers to cull invasive weeds and vermin.

4. Reducing the risks of destruction/degradation due to human ignorance and/or greed through public advocacy for biodiversity.

5. Purchase and/or management of endangered ecosystems to prevent destruction, damage and exploitation.

Peter Thomson


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