Threatened species and the OBP

To: 'Simon Mustoe' <>, "" <>, "" <>
Subject: Threatened species and the OBP
From: Peter Shute <>
Date: Tue, 4 Dec 2012 11:26:53 +1100
Simon, you may be right - it's always the least visible species that are the 
hardest to make the public care about - but what sort of infrastructure could 
be set up now to view wild OBPs near Melbourne? I think if you could set up a 
hide and charge entry fees for a guaranteed look at a free flying OBP, you'd 
have a long queue at the door.

It's easy with seals and penguins, but perhaps this species just isn't suitable 
for this kind of thing.

Peter Shute

> -----Original Message-----
> From:  
>  On Behalf Of 
> Simon Mustoe
> Sent: Tuesday, 4 December 2012 10:17 AM
> To: ; 
> Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Threatened species and the OBP
> Debbie,
> 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?
> Regards,
> Simon.
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Simon Mustoe
> Tel: +61 (0) 405220830 | Skype simonmustoe | Email 
> Visit BIRD-O at
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> > From: 
> > To: 
> > Date: Mon, 3 Dec 2012 21:05:59 +1100
> > Subject: [Birding-Aus] Threatened species and the OBP
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > rot/4401966 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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