I think you make a good point about stopping and thinking about the outcomes
involved in culling actions. Killing animals for no measurable benefit is
certainly ethically dubious. And while I agree habitat loss is the most
devastating challenge facing our wildlife right now, it would be foolish to
downplay the impact feral animals may have, both through predation and
direct competition for resources such as food and nesting territory. My
question to you is what if you knew for a fact a cull could be successful,
thus making a huge difference to the future wellbeing of native animals? I
believe the obvious example here is Barbary Dove, where a concerted effort
now could well prevent the next big feral competing for food and nesting
resources with our native doves. I'm sure in my lifetime there will be
other such examples - I would predict at least Peach-faced Lovebirds
becoming established somewhere in Aus and possibly Ring-necked Parakeets
also. Given the huge impact Rainbow Lorikeets are having on Red-capped
Parrots in Perth right now, I don't even want to think about adding another
two parrot species into the mix. And of course, what about the House Crow -
what impact would a large, adaptable, highly intelligent corvid have on our
ecosystems? Another great example of a control action likely to succeed is
the highly ambitious clearing of feral mammals from Lord Howe Island. The
potential benefits here are staggering, with the potential recovery of
endemic reptiles, frogs, terrestrial birds and nesting seabirds, as well as
reintroduction of previously locally extinct species to fill currently
vacant niches in the island ecosystem.
On Thu, Feb 4, 2010 at 11:59 PM, Gary Wright <>wrote:
> Hi David
> The problem is that these are difficult ethical decisions and the effects
> our actions are extremely complex. I will say, right off of the bat that I
> am against killing anything. I am a vegan for reasons of avoiding animal
> cruelty and respecting life. But putting that aside as obviously I don't
> expect most people to share that view, there are still huge ethical issues
> involved when we decide to take the life of another animal. That animal
> paying the ultimate price for what benefit?
> Here in WA at the moment is the toadbuster campaign, funded by government
> which is killing large numbers of toad and it is not going to have the
> slightest effect on the cane toads march to WA. So, why are we doing it?
> People want to do something, I think is part of the answer. They are
> concerned about the negative effects of the cane toad on the environment
> are motivated to do something. Thousands of toads are dying to help us
> better about the situation.
> As we set ourselves up as judge and jury on the lives of other animals, I
> concerned that many animals are dying needlessly. Another example is
> spotted turtle doves in alice springs where people are encouraged to kill
> them. For no good reason-you go a kilometre from the town and you won't
> I suspect that killing Indian Mynas is going to be a waste of time in terms
> of protecting diversity of our birds. The problem when we decide to kill
> other animals is where do we draw the line. I am certainly against killing
> feral animals in cities and towns. When it comes to feral animals in
> National Parks there may be a case for killing ferals, but I don't think it
> is a straightforward case and I am sure each case is complex.
> This will be my last comment on this thread but of course feel free to
> On 4 February 2010 07:22, David Stowe <> wrote:
> > Hi Gary,
> > I'm a bit confused by your email. You say that habitat destruction is the
> > biggest problem but also that we should cry equally for an invasive
> > that lost a partner?
> > I did indeed cry for the tree and the habitat destruction and agree that
> > is the biggest problem, but i don't agree that we should therefore let
> > species run unchecked. Whether it is the bigger problem or not shouldn't
> > mean it is ignored. Do you think we should let the Barbary Doves multiply
> > until they get to the population of Spotted Doves in Sydney etc? Should
> > let feral cats and pigs run free because it would be sad to kill them and
> > it's not as big a problem as habitat destruction?
> > Sorry Gary but i won't be crying for the feral who has lost a partner.
> > too busy crying for our native species that have lost their potential to
> > have families.
> > Cheers
> > David
> > On 03/02/2010, at 10:48 PM, Gary Wright wrote:
> > Hi David
> > I agree it would make you want to cry in cutting down a tree
> > but imagine if you were the mate of an Indian Myna, that was killed that
> > would make you want to cry as well. Our biggest problem for the future
> > birds is habitat destruction, not birds invading habitats we have
> > Gary
> > On 3 February 2010 16:02, David Stowe <>
> >> I was talking to a mate just last week about this. He is in Berowra (far
> >> north Sydney) and whilst not a really an active birdwatcher he is
> >> a lover of birds. He has a Myna Trap from the council (nothing like
> >> and gets at least a few a day!
> >> Good on him I reckon.
> >> He also strongly lamented his neighbours cutting down of a beautiful
> >> casuarina tree because "it might fall over". The week before he had
> >> Black Cockatoos feeding in it. Makes you want to cry.
> >> Dave
> >> On 03/02/2010, at 3:20 PM, Keith Brandwood wrote:
> >> Here in the Hawkesbury the council is pushing the Common Myna capture
> >> kill program but the traps only cost $55 and you get them put to sleep
> >> free. Apparently its gone gangbuster in the ACT.