Threatened species and the OBP

To: <>, "" <>
Subject: Threatened species and the OBP
From: Simon Mustoe <>
Date: Tue, 4 Dec 2012 10:16:41 +1100
I disagree with Flannery and others. Australia does care. 
Conservation bodies, scientists, national parks and others have had control of 
wildlife for too long. We have made it more and more difficult for anyone to 
engage with, learn about or understand nature. Orange-bellied Parrot is a case 
example. For years, areas near Melbourne where these birds occur have been 
fenced off to public - even when they were more numerous. In other parts of the 
world there would have been visitor infrastructure and hides put up and a 
concerted effort by the conservation groups to show people the birds. Just 
recently, BirdLife has been concerned about the number of people being able to 
access the WTP (when only just over 300 people have keys). Meanwhile, 
critically endangered birds exist in places where tens of thousands of visitors 
go at places like Mai Po in Hong Kong or Titchwell in the UK.  
Before Australians attempt to engage or connect people we hastily impose 
regulations to 'protect' wildlife by fencing it off (physically or regulatory). 
Here's another brutal example - DSE is currently chasing teenagers for climbing 
on the back of a dead Humpback Whale on the Great Ocean Road. Natural curiosity 
drives kids to do that sort of thing and whist a slap on the wrist might be 
called for,  the parents can do that. Instead however, DSE has ensured these 
teenagers and all their friends will hate conservationists for the rest of 
their lives. Plus, a strong and clear message has been sent to every Victorian 
- if you pass within 300m of a whale carcass you can be prosecuted. In much of 
the state my kids can't even collect shells on beaches any more. 
What is the world coming to?
As conservationists, we have to take a long hard look at ourselves and wonder 
if we are to blame for the lack of 'care'. If we cared more, would we encourage 
people to engage with wildlife rather than loving animals to death, meanwhile 
ensuring that only us and our closest friends get to enjoy the experience?

Simon Mustoe 
Tel: +61 (0) 405220830 | Skype simonmustoe | Email 

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> From: 
> To: 
> Date: Mon, 3 Dec 2012 21:05:59 +1100
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] Threatened species and the OBP
> The ABC's 7.30 Tasmania screened this 8-minute segment on Friday night, which 
> neatly dovetails Tim Flannery's concerns about a looming extinction crisis 
> (detailed in the current Quarterly Essay), with the plight of the 
> Orange-bellied Parrot.
> Covers several important issues and features Mark Holdsworth, the Tasmanian 
> coordinator of the OBP Recovery Program.
> This should have aired nation-wide. I agree with Flannery that we as a nation 
> don't care nearly enough; nobody is accountable for dropping the ball on 
> threatened species.                                      
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