Threatened species and the OBP

To: Simon Mustoe <>
Subject: Threatened species and the OBP
From: "R. Bruce Richardson" <>
Date: Tue, 4 Dec 2012 22:53:04 +1100

Well said and I agree. Although it is a complex issue and often needs to be 
looked at case by case and situation by situation. But yes, in general the 
almost elitist attitudes of conservationists have put more of the general 
public off than have led them toward understanding the various plights of 
various endangered species. Although sometimes certainly drastic measures are 
needed. But as I said, I agree with you. If we don't engage the general public, 
if they don't find a genuine caring within themselves, they will not support 
even the basic the programs that need to be in place for our wildlife.

If I pick up a particularly interesting shell on a beach, it goes in my pocket. 
Walking along the beach as a child and collecting shells, looking into tidal 
pools, marveling at whatever might have washed-up were the beginnings of my 
interest in, and love for, as well as my willingness to defend, our natural 
R. Bruce Richardson

On Dec 4, 2012, at 10:16 AM, Simon Mustoe wrote:

> 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
>> 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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