Re: Princess Parrot Trips Wrap-Up

To: Andrew Stafford <>
Subject: Re: Princess Parrot Trips Wrap-Up
From: bob gosford <>
Date: Thu, 16 Dec 2010 15:53:31 +0930
One related issue that hasn't been raised is that the gene pool of captive
PPs is apparently depleted and that a pair (or more) of wild birds as
breeding stock may accordingly be of a much higher value, attracting a
premium because of their new genetics.

And I thought we had been through more than enough of a debate here in the
recent past about the publication of accurate (and there is nothing more
accurate than the GPS details that were given here) locations of rare and/or
breeding birds...perhaps there could be a general warning and or a decision
made by the administrator to remove such posts in the future?

And just maybe it is time to revisit the issue of birding and birding
photographer ethics?

Bob Gosford
Alice Springs

On 16 December 2010 15:35, Andrew Stafford <> wrote:

> Tim,
> I don't mean to suggest that the person I mentioned was anything other than
> a photographer. However, I am saying that the potential for collectors to
> target birds, and to use this mailing list as a resource for information, is
> clear and present. It should be a wake-up call for us all. Having said that,
> the prices you quote are interesting and does put the potential problem into
> perspective.
> Cheers
> Andrew
> On 16/12/2010, at 3:40 PM, Tim Dolby wrote:
> > Good point Andrew, I think you're right. This does need some debate.
> Without wanting to understate the seriousness of this issue and for the sake
> of debate, here are some really quick thoughts.
> >
> > After an earlier debate on the price of wild parrots I looked up the
> commercial price for wild parrots in Australia and came across this document
> -
> The prices really surprised me. It puts the price of adult pair of Princess
> Parrot at $80. By contrast the price of a pair of Rainbow Lorikeet is $100 a
> pair, Mulga Parrot $120 a pair, Crimson Rosella $150 and interestingly
> Scarlet-chested Parrot is only $60. The price of the Port Lincoln race
> (zonarius) of the Australian Ringneck is $120 a pair. On pure commercial
> terms this means that it's more profitable to target nesting Ringnecks in
> the trees in downtown Alice Springs than to target the Princess Parrot west
> of Alice Springs. The fines for "unauthorised action with significant impact
> on listed threatened species" according to the Convention on International
> Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) are $550,000
> (individual) and $5,500,000 (body corporate), and an offence relating to
> threatened species the fine of $46,200 and / or seven years imprisonment
> (individual). The Princess Parrot west of Kings Canyon are (relatively
> speaking) under significant surveillance from interested groups, such as
>  the Northern Territory Natural Resources and Environment Dept and the CLC.
> This makes the chance of being caught for illegal actions relatively high.
> It appears to me that the costs (financial or legal) of illegal procurement
> of the parrots in this particular case doesn't add up. I'm more than happy
> to be contradicted on this - as mentioned my thoughts are purely speculative
> and the hole in my argument may be so large that you could drive a mining
> truck through it!
> >
> > Perhaps your second point is more important. The impact of large numbers
> of visitors with 'positive' intentions (such as birders and photographers
> i.e. you and I, although I'm a hopeless photographer :) may have far more
> serious implications for the birds and their environment. As you mention,
> for example through the spread of weeds, social and habitat disturbance,
> increased potential for fire, etc. Therefore limiting birders and other
> interested people from the site, in the way that the CLC, has done is easily
> the best plan of action. As an aside it's also worth noting that Santos, one
> of Australia's largest oil and gas production companies, is operating very
> near to the area that the parrots have been found.
> >
> > Cheers,
> >
> > Tim Dolby
> >
> > ________________________________________
> > From: Andrew Stafford 
> > Sent: Thursday, December 16, 2010 2:43 PM
> > To: Tim Dolby;  net. au
> > Subject: Re: Princess Parrot Trips Wrap-Up
> >
> > 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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Bob Gosford
The Northern Myth blog
Alice Springs, NT
Ph: (+61) 0447024968
Twitter: @bgosford
"The NT Government does not respond to random electronic gossip sites."

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