Causing the death of tern chicks for photography.

To: "Birding-Aus (Forum)" <>, Denise Goodfellow <>,
Subject: Causing the death of tern chicks for photography.
From: bob gosford <>
Date: Mon, 20 Dec 2010 09:52:46 +0930
Dear all,

This looks like a disaster for all concerned - not least the poor Terns - and from this shot it looks like at least 100 chicks - all no more than 1 - 2 weeks old - are being driven - surely on purpose - into the water.

The issues just keep mounting and the possibilities at present look like (1) - chicks being herded (?) into a group and driven into the water - surely this must have been done with some knowledge or intent as to the likely outcome; (2) where are the parents - multiply the number of chicks by (say) 1.5 and you have a large number of distressed adults; (3) the impact on the breeding event at that site; (4) how many times did the filmamkers attempt this before they achieved 'success'? - once, twice, many times?

I've not looked into the legal issues but the following come to mind

1 - depending on the species there may be a variety of issues under the Cth's EPBC Act;

2 - Assuming that this took place in Qld (and I may be wrong - the promo says 'Crab island, off the northern tip of Australia') there may/must be Qld legislation relating to animal cruelty/welfare. This may not only be an issue for the cameraman & director but the producer of the film and perhaps also the various channels that broadcast it.

3 - and finally (for now) echoing recent issues aired here and elsewhere - on whose land and waters was this exercise undertaken - if on traditional Aboriginal lands what, and from whom, permission was given to undertake and film this exercise?

The more I see and hear the more horrified I become...



On 20 December 2010 09:38, Andrew Taylor <> wrote:
Here is a snapshot from the program showing the group of tern chicks going
into the water:
There is no preceding footage of the tern chick, subsequent footage shows
some being consumed by sharks and a few returning to the cay.

Given the the angle which the video is taken, it is hard to avoid Alan's
interpretation that those making this video have caused the tern chicks
to enter the water then filmed the unfortunate results.


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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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