Re. Ibis and Ferals (and large starling flocks)

To: Duncan Fraser <>
Subject: Re. Ibis and Ferals (and large starling flocks)
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2008 12:41:08 +1100
Excellent point Duncan! 

I was going to bring this up during the "Ferals" thread we had on birding 
aus recently.

Humans are the biggest "feral" in Australia, and our ability to transform 
the environment allows for  'feral' species and some native species to 
expand and maintain viable populations. 

I think that rather than spending money trying to eradicate feral species, 
the funds should be redirected towards habitat rejuvenation for endangered 
species. Ferals are usually occupying a niche and keeping other systems in 
check.  Obviously some ferals can be competing with resources of native 
species, and this needs to be weighed up accordingly.

On a related note, there was a flock of some 500-750 Starlings in 
residential Leopold (Southern Victoria) last night.   This is by far the 
biggest flock of starlings i've ever seen.  They were flying in swarms 
like they do in Europe.  Anyone know if this would be some type of 
migration or breeding group?


Duncan Fraser <> 
Sent by: 
16/01/2008 12:26 PM

"" <>

[Birding-Aus] Re. Ibis

Yes, ibis can be a problem in parks etc, but a few words of praise for 
them in the country. In the Macalister Irrigation District here in 
Gippsland, ibis, both white and straw-necked are in their thousands, and 
are the farmer's friends, consuming huge quantities of cockchafer grubs 
in irrigated pastures, thereby eliminating the need for chemical 
control. Straw-necked Ibis also do a good job in dry country, feeding on 
Both species breed in large colonies at Dowd's Morass, but things are 
not looking good for them there as the paperbarks where they nest are 
dying out due to the increased salinity of the Gippsland Lakes and 
associated wetlands. I'd hate to see them leave the paddocks and be 
replaced by spray booms pumping out chemicals. DF.

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