RFI from visiting NZ birder

To: birding birding-aus <>
Subject: RFI from visiting NZ birder
From: Russell Woodford <>
Date: Wed, 3 Mar 2010 22:34:46 +1100
Dear Birding-Aus members

I unreservedly apologise for casting doubt on Alan Beszant's request. He has emailed me a few of his photos, as well as contact details for a number of birders he has met up with, to prove his bona fides.

I need to explain my caution (some referred to it as "paranoia"):

Some years ago, visiting US researcher used birding-aus to track down bowers for breeding Satin Bowerbirds. She posted information that showed she had ethics approval for her study. Then it came to light that she intended to capture and kill a number of these breeding birds (15 comes to mind but I could be wrong). She had intended to take the approved number of birds, dissect them and examine stomach contents, then return in a different season to do the some with non-breeding birds. This sort of study quickly divides the birding community, even when the outcomes are to protect birds or improve our understanding of them so that we can contribute to sustaining a population. However, this research was for a Psychology student who was merely doing a comparative study - there was no positive outcome for the birds. There was an outcry, appeals to JAmes COok Uni who were partners, and eventually the approval to take birds was withdrawn (after a few were "collected").

I also have fairly convincing info that wild bird collectors have used birding aus to try to track down certain species or eggs. We have to be a bit careful, especially when we get a request to see something that might well appeal to smugglers. I know some birders will not reveal GPS coordinates for certain species, especially breeding birds.

I erred in posting my doubts about Alan's trip to the whole list, and should have asked a few discreet questions instead - I'm sorry that I cast any doubts on the credibility of someone who is clearly a genuine birder - and a fine photographer.

I hope some of you will help to correct my error by showing him around when he comes to your area.

Russell Woodford

Birding-Aus List Owner

Geelong   Victoria   Australia


To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send the message: unsubscribe (in the body of the message, with no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU