Grass owl habitat destroyed

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Subject: Grass owl habitat destroyed
From: "Greg Roberts" <>
Date: Wed, 21 Apr 2010 16:28:28 +1000
I discovered this morning that all the tall grassland on two of the four
sites where I have found Eastern Grass-Owl on the Sunshine Coast in recent
months have been razed by local sugarcane farmers. I assume this is
part-and-parcel of the usual farming cycle, but it's pretty unsettling all
the same. These areas also had King Quail, large numbers of species such as
Tawny Grassbird and Buff-banded Rail, and they attracted plenty of good
raptors such as Spotted Harrier and Australian Hobby. 
It occurred to me that there are no reserves anywhere in southeast
Queensland that protect this kind of habitat.
It also raised questions in my mind about the role of the state authorities
in protecting rare wildlife. Since I moved to the coast from Brisbane last
year, I have reported new sites for the endangered Black-breasted
Button-quail and Ground Parrot on Birding-Aus and in other public forums,
along with records for rarities such as Marbled Frogmouth and Eastern Grass
Owl. Yet I have not once been contacted by the state government officers
responsible for wildlife protection, or by the Sunshine Coast Regional
Council. I assume that in Queensland, the authorities do not bother to
monitor these forums. I wonder if this is the case in other states?
Should it be our responsibility to report these things to government
authorities? I would have thought not, provided they are published publicly.
Greg Roberts

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