Re: Princess Parrot Trips Wrap-Up

To: Tim Dolby <>, " net. au" <>
Subject: Re: Princess Parrot Trips Wrap-Up
From: Andrew Stafford <>
Date: Thu, 16 Dec 2010 13:43:05 +1000
Tim and all,

There is one other extremely important matter that has come out of the Princess 
Parrot situation that urgently needs to be addressed. It has come up on 
birding-aus on many occasions before: the divulging of nesting locations of 
rare birds.

On my visit to the site on 3 December I was shown 4WD tracks that led off road 
(really, off-track) straight to an advertised GPS location for the birds - in 
fact, straight to a nest tree. Those tracks were made by a person who has 
inquired about Princess Parrots on this site before.

I am glad to say this person was "sprung" and his vehicle photographed by 
someone from the NT's Natural Resources and Environment Dept, who was studying 
the birds. I have seen these photographs and on his vehicle was a large ladder. 
Although he says he is a photographer himself, the implications and dangers 
should be clear to all (quite apart from the extraordinary environmental and 
cultural insensitivity involved). The fact that Princess Parrots are common 
aviary birds doesn't mean that poachers won't attempt to capture eggs/specimens 
of wild birds in an event such as this.

One other matter. Buffel grass is an environmental menace in northern 
Australia. It is a weed spread via soil, and is common around Alice Springs. 
Since almost everybody who went to see the birds would have come through Alice 
the potential for birders being a vector for the spread of the grass (which is 
otherwise uncommon in the area where the parrots were breeding) is a legitimate 
concern. Our vehicle was not checked for this before our entry to the area - 
it's something I became aware of after the fact - and it's something I hope the 
CLC will endeavour to guard against in any future trips. I think it's fair to 
say, though, that there is a better chance of infestations being controlled if 
they know who is heading out there!

Andrew Stafford==============================
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