Leg Tags

To: "Paul Dodd" <>
Subject: Leg Tags
From: "Ian May" <>
Date: Mon, 30 Jun 2008 16:13:57 +0930
Hi again.

"Paul wrote
Even in the worst case, I think that leg banding would have a minimal impact, and I suspect probably a
zero impact."

Not necessarily so when dealing with vulnerable, threatened species. We could play chess around this subject forever. What catching method is used to catch Sittellas and Treecreepers? How are such birds handled? What appears to be common sense to one seems ridiculous to another.

Multiple flags, tags or bands on a highly mobile, tree climbing bird such as a Sittella is unlikely to help it survive. What does "the ethics committee" say about that? When only a few individuals of a vulnerable species remain in any area, there is a real case for applying the oft quoted "precautionary principle" relating to the study of those few individuals remaining. IMHO, banding Sittellas and Tree creepers is akin to leg flagging a Phalarope, and until objective studies can demonstrate that catching and handling small birds has absolutely no impact on any of them, vulnerable populations should not be touched.

Ian May

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