To: Carl Clifford <>
Subject: Guano
From: Michael Tarburton <>
Date: Mon, 11 Oct 2010 09:36:00 +1100
G'day birdos & guanophiles

When i started studying Fijian swiftlets in the mid 70's one of the caves I visited in the Wainimbuka Valley had been used by early British Colonists (probably Sugar Cane growers) for mining Guano. There was little guano left in this cave compared to others I worked in and I presume they also took microbat guano as well as swiftlet guano.

One of the problems that ensued was that although the chief was happy for me to visit the caves with my students some of his villagers ganged up on him and demanded money from me. As it cost a fortune in fuel to get my students there I went to nearer caves where it was cheaper in both ways to continue the research. I tried the swiftlet guano in my garden and it certainly worked as well as fowl manure.

Of by the way the guaophiles seen in Fiji were more diverse than i have seen in Australian caves and included, moths, flies, crabs and cockroaches.

Cheers & happy gardening

Michael Tarburton


On 07/10/2010, at 8:47 PM, Carl Clifford wrote:

My Grand father tried mining bat guano, from caves near Ashford, NSW.

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