A 'Morepork' question

To: "John Tongue" <>, "birding-aus Aus" <>, "Paul Dodd" <>
Subject: A 'Morepork' question
From: "Mike Carter" <>
Date: Sat, 16 Jun 2012 18:50:08 +1000
Coming from Tasmania as you do, I'm not surprised that you raised this one and I apologise for misleading everyone by telling only half the story.

Firstly, whilst the IOC recognises that the Boobook from Lord Howe Island is extinct, that is not their position with regard to the bird on Norfolk Island. Whilst I believe that the last surviving NI Boobook is now dead and prior to her decease due to extreme age had not bred for several years, I think that some believe that her genes live on within the current hybrid stock. The males were introduced NZ Moreporks so that may justify the use of that name. I think someone told me that female genes are more significant in these respects. I hope someone with a better understanding of both these matters can clarify.

But of more interest to all Australians and you in particular as well of some of us here in Victoria and South Australia where from time to time claims of Tasmanian Boobooks having crossed Bass Strait derive, is the fact that the IOC consider the that your Tasmanian Boobook is a different species to ours on the mainland! They lump it with the NZ Morepork!!! Many, many years ago Les Christidis told me that the Tasmanian bird was a different species but I was not aware of its closer relationship to the NZ form.

Mike Carter
30 Canadian Bay Road
Mount Eliza  VIC 3930
Tel  (03) 9787 7136

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