Birding-Aus Aus <>
What is a Feral?
Carl Clifford <>
Thu, 10 Jan 2008 12:28:20 +1100
When does a species become a feral and when does it become a native?
Most Australian birders would regard the Cattle Egret as a native,
but shouldn't it be classed as a feral? It was introduced, possibly
unsuccessfully, to Derby WA in 1933. It then appeared, in large
numbers in Oenpelli NT in 1948 and reached Colac Vic in 1949 and now
it is pretty well ubiquitous. As the species is highly mobile and
considerable numbers move between northern Australia and the
Indonesian Archipelago, it is potentially a serious vector for avian
diseases. Should they be culled?
Hanzab describes a colony of Cape Barren Geese at Tidbinbilla ACT as
feral (V 1-b p1196). Should they be culled, after all they do compete
with other native grazing water birds for an often scarce food
Off the Avian track, but equally interesting, the Dingo. This man
assisted migrant has caused considerable damage to the numbers of
native mammal species and may very well have caused the loss of some
species. It is regarded as a native, but meets many of the criteria
for a feral, so what is it?
I would be interested in peoples opinions on this. I find that the
line between feral and native a very wavery one which appears to be
drawn nearly at random.
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