Eastern bristlebird in the news

To: John Leonard <>
Subject: Eastern bristlebird in the news
From: David Stowe <>
Date: Sat, 8 Aug 2009 17:14:36 +1000
Surely that's the point of entertainment? it is something that we just enjoy for whatever the reason. I'm sure birdwatching is irrational to the majority of the population. Personally i think we really do have to unblinker ourselves to see what the rest of the world enjoys rather than being so negative to every pursuit that isn't bird related. Perhaps then we will have a greater impact rather than just being seen as killjoys all the time. Why on earth shouldn't other people have fun enjoying what interests them - especially if there weren't any potential threats to wildlife?? Everyone has different values in society - that's what makes us different. Remember birders are the minority group.

David Stowe

On 08/08/2009, at 4:08 PM, John Leonard wrote:

It's a pity we don't have a scheme of values in society where such
events as this are in the category as 'irrational entertainments' (Dr
Johnson on opera) and no-one would consider holding one or attending
one, even if there no potential threats to wildlife and vegetation.

John Leonard

2009/8/8 Stephen Ambrose <>:
-----Original Message-----
From: L&L Knight 
Sent: Saturday, 8 August 2009 12:45 PM
To: Stephen Ambrose
Cc: Birding Aus
Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Eastern bristlebird in the news

Thanks Stephen,

Could you please expand on how the rally would threaten the frogs,
bristlebirds and BBBQ?

I can see how the Lyrebirds, Quolls and Potoroos etc might be hit by
cars traversing the route.  I'm less clear on how the rally will
affect the other species.  In particular, where would the rally be
passing through bristlebird habitat?  Looking at the maps, it doesn't
seem to pass along the Lions Rd through the McPherson Range (The Mt
Gipps to Black Snake Ridge section of the Range is the only spot that
I know of bristlebird records) or through the Border Ranges NP.

Hi Laurie,

Re frogs: the rally cars travel through or over creeks that are known to
contain populations of Giant Barred and Fleayed Barred Frogs, and pass
within a few metres of other creeks (especially in the Byrill and Peacock River stages of the rally). The concern is potential degradation of these creeks as a result of the settling of airborne dust & soil thrown up by the cars, sediment runoff into the creek from the sides of the tracks, and the runoff of pollutants (e.g. oils, fuels) into the creeks in the event of one or more of the rally cars being involved in an accident. There's also the issue of excessive tyre residues being washed into creeks from gravel road surfaces as a result of rally drivers "burning rubber". The rally occurs at the start of the breeding period for these species, when there could be eggs or early-stage tadpoles. Therefore, pollutant or sediment runoff into known
breeding areas would be catastrophic.

The BBBQ is recorded regularly in the Mebbin and Byrill Creek Areas, where the Byrill Creek stage of the rally is to occur. Therefore, there is a risk of road kills. The rally will be at the start of the usual breeding season for this species (September to April). The usual home range of a nesting pair of Black-breasted Button-quails is c. 1.5 ha, therefore there is a
significant risk of nest desertion in the event of significant local

Re Eastern Bristlebirds: there are no records of these species occurring near the rally circuit, as you quite rightly point out. However, potential habitat for this species occurs in Richmond Range NP, especially in some of the valleys near or through which the rally traverses, and I suspect once occurred there. Therefore, one cannot rule out the possibility that either species may disperse into these areas, either as isolated individuals or in small numbers. Under these circumstances, there is a risk (admittedly a
remote one) of road kills.

Re Grey-headed Flying-fox (which you didn't mention): the rally circuit passes close to the GHFF maternity camp at Bray's Park near Murwillumbah. Given that mothers in the camp are likely to be suckling young pups at that
time there is concern that noise from rally cars and helicopters could
result in some of the newborn being abandoned by their mothers.

Unfortunately, the ecological consultant only assessed the potential impacts of a one-off event, and didn't consider the cumulative impacts that may
result from holding the event 5 times over a 10-year period.

Hope this information answers your questions.

Kind regards,


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John Leonard

"I rejoice that there are owls." Thoreau

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