Re: House Crow, Dee Why, Sydney

To: "'Judith Hoyle'" <>, "'Ed Parnell'" <>, <>
Subject: Re: House Crow, Dee Why, Sydney
From: "Steve" <>
Date: Tue, 8 Apr 2008 16:56:04 +1000
Judith. Firstly, I know it's a long bow (that's why I used the word 'even').
Quarantine officers routinely euthanise animals found hitch-hiking into
ports on and in containers. Why do they do this? Because alien species can
be vectors for diseases we don't yet have here, and because alien species
might establish to the detriment of native species. The Asian House Geckoes
that drive everyone crazy in Brisbane probably came in on shipping
containers. The bottom line is, we don't know whether the crow in Dee Why
might be harbouring disease. By the way, I see a huge difference between
naturally occurring vagrants (however rare) and hitch-hikers, but obviously
many on the list don't.  As for it being "just one bird", decisions about
the removal of such animals should be made according to policy, not
according to how many there are.

Steve Murray



From: Judith Hoyle  
Sent: Tuesday, 8 April 2008 10:46 AM
To: Steve; 'Ed Parnell'; 
Subject: Re: House Crow, Dee Why, Sydney


Hi Steve,
I have always sworn I would not get involved in such tag lines but....having
sat on Pandemic Planning Committees in the past, I think your statement
about the potential for this Crow to be a possible vector for the
introduction of Avian Flu is a very long bow. 
Birds Australia released an Avian Influenza Statement in June 2006.
Yes, avian flu has been detected in wild birds in many other countries.
These infections are usually associated with Anseriformes.  The
circumstantial evidence supports that wild bird exposure to the H5N1 virus
appears to be associated with poultry movements, or the practice of using
chicken manure to fertilise paddocks which the birds then graze on. The
incubation period is rapid and infected birds rapidly drop off the mortal
I will admit to being one of the many gullible birders that was completely
taken in by Evan's April Fools joke and, at the time, thought at least he
had the courage of his convictions.  This demonstrates that I am not adverse
to the point of view that argues for adopting a precautionary response to
potentially invasive species...but please let us not use scare mongering
tactics to justify this response. The Dee Why crow poses no threat to our
poultry industry.
Just as I thought Evan had done the right thing, I also thought Ed's comment
was well said.  It is one bird.  Given the information provided in BA's
statement on the species which have been associated with the spread of AI in
other countries, I have not seen anyone arguing for us to shoot/cull the odd
Garganey and Northern Shoveler when these species turn up on our shores -
nor would I unless the evidence suggested the birds were infected with H5N1.
Indeed, we need to be very careful about what we say about this issue.  Such
statements can inflame fear in the general population which could lead to
over the top inappropriate responses towards migrating wild birds in



> From: 
> To: ; 
> Subject: RE: [Birding-Aus] Re: House Crow, Dee Why, Sydney 
> Date: Mon, 7 Apr 2008 18:54:37 +1000
> Ed....Nobody thinks one bird is a threat, but presumably other crows can
> here by the same method used by the Dee Why crow. Why wait until there is
> evidence of more than one before you do the logical thing and get rid of
> The other thing is, a bird like the House Crow that hangs around human
> habitation and quite possibly domestic fowl yards could easily harbour
> disease that local birds are vulnerable to...even the big one: Avian
> Influenza. 
> Steve Murray
> -----Original Message-----
> From: 
>  On Behalf Of Ed Parnell
> Sent: Monday, 7 April 2008 6:37 PM
> To: 
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] Re: House Crow, Dee Why, Sydney 
> Unless I'm missing an amazing fact about House Crow reproductive biology
> is it that people are worried about a single bird? Presumably it isn't
> really a threat that needs taking care of unless it meets up with another
> House Crow of the opposite sex?!
> Ed
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