Re: [SPAM] [Birding-Aus] Australian Painted Snipe in Dubbo

To: Tim Jones <>
Subject: Re: [SPAM] [Birding-Aus] Australian Painted Snipe in Dubbo
From: Chris Sanderson <>
Date: Tue, 3 Nov 2009 22:10:45 +1000
Hi Tim,

I believe in the UK a small number of rare birds have died from constant
harassment leading to an inability to feed to recover from a long trip.
This is possibly what Peter is referring to?  Also I hear from various
sources of cases where twitchers (usually identity unknown) have been
observed by landholders to tresspass to look for birds.  This still appears
to be a sadly common occurrence, though as you say, its not fair to tar all
twitchers with that brush as I know many who wouldn't enter a property
without permission.  However those that do give all birders, not just
twitchers, a bad name with the general public.

I will say this though, a recent study by our own Dr Laurie Knight showed
that the more fanatical a twitcher is, the less they care about
conservation.  That's hard data from a fairly broad survey there (I hope
I've paraphrased your work correctly there Laurie, feel free to jump in if
I'm misquoting).

As for earlier questions about collectors, I'd love to hear from someone in
the customs department, but I know for a fact they are still finding living
animals being smuggled, and I have little doubt that the same would go for
dead animals - there are a lot of people for whom collecting skins/specimens
is akin to stamp collecting (or pokemon for the younger people out there
reading this...gotta catch em all).  Look no further than our own official
bodies - out there looking to collect one or several of the newly found
Spotted Quail-Thrush in Far North QLD before they even know if its a new
species or even how many there are in the population...

Back to the point at hand.  I thought the objection was over GPS
co-ordinates being given in an open online forum.  A general location in the
email with an offer of directions offline would be fine I would think, as
suggested by an earlier poster.  At least that means someone wanting to
break the law has to leave evidence in the form of an email if they want the


On Tue, Nov 3, 2009 at 6:06 PM, Tim Jones <> wrote:

> Peter,
> What do the 'fanatical Twitchers' do? I reckon this is mostly just
> sensationalised hearsay. I see so much prattle about the terrible harm they
> do, but I have yet to see a properly substantiated report of something which
> has had any serious effect on wildlife and I've been on many, many
> 'fanatical twitches' in my time.
> There are a few people who go a bit too far in their pursuit, but most
> 'fanatical twitchers' are also fanatical conservationists and also want
> future generations to share their joy of seeing wonderful places and
> wonderful wildlife.
> I just wish people would get things in proportion. This kind of statement
> tars us all with the same brush and just gets us all a bad name.
> NB I'm not arguing about the need to be judicious with information.
> Cheers
> Tim
> > From: 
> > To: ; 
> > Subject: Re: [SPAM] [Birding-Aus] Australian Painted Snipe in Dubbo
> > Date: Tue, 3 Nov 2009 11:28:29 +1100
> > CC: ;
> >
> > Hi Peter, my main concern was the Painted Snipe, and yes I do believe
> that
> > there are people who would take a Painted Snipe for their collection. Its
> no
> > different than collecting feathers a subject that as been discussed
> recently
> > on this forum. Collecting feathers appears to be a harmless pastime on
> the
> > surface but you can imagine someone who as all the feathers of all the
> > parrot species except for the Night Parrot. I could easily see such a
> person
> > trying to find out where to find one and going out and shooting it to get
> > the feather.You only have to see what some of the fanatical Twitchers get
> up
> > to at times to understand the need to be alert to whom you give
> information
> > to. Thankfully it is only a small minority that are involved in such
> > behaviour.

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