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The Forum > Article Comments > Making the world safe for predators > Comments

Making the world safe for predators : Comments

By Valerie Yule, published 29/5/2013

Thirty years ago we had blue fairy wrens, tits, humming birds, honey-eater and others, now gone because of cats, rats, foxes, and foolishly-protected Australian crows attracted out of their normal range by people's food litter.

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It would seem to me that small bird species do pretty well indeed all-considered in highly altered environments full of predators and feral species.

Even where common mynas abound, such as throughout the humanised landscapes of the Wet Tropics in North Queensland, the smaller native species still thrive.

Where the native but aggressive and population-boosted noisy miners and pied currawongs occur, most of the small natives birds coexist.

Superb fairy-wrens abound down the highly developed east coast, along with variegated and red-backed fairy-wrens.

As for cats, rats and dogs, our urban and rural areas are chockers with them, alongside a wide assortment of native birds.

All this leads me to think that where some bird species have disappeared from developed areas, there might be others causes, which are both a little bit difficult to determine, or perhaps so obvious that we look straight past them such as the mass destruction of suitable habitat by the biggest feral of them all US!
Posted by Ludwig, Wednesday, 29 May 2013 12:16:34 PM
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"...biggest feral of them all - US!"

Oh yeah!

Sorry this is not Australian, but has pertinence for all of us.

The saddest picture.....

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/the-many-faces-of-illegal-logging-2/
Posted by Poirot, Wednesday, 29 May 2013 12:20:49 PM
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Agreed, Ludwig and Poirot, however it is also true that feral cats and dogs are eliminating vast numbers of those species that manage to co-exist with humans. If we want to protect native animals, then we have to use all means available and give laws both teeth and officers to police them. It doesn't really help to point out some areas where birds survive. On the Sunshine Coast hinterland over the last fifteen years I've noticed a sharp decline in overall bird numbers, although species diversity remains almost the same. We've also lost wallabies, dragon lizards, large skinks, Eastern brown snakes, echidnas, tawny frogmouth - not seen for a decade, ibis, fruit bats... the list is long and depressing.
Posted by ybgirp, Wednesday, 29 May 2013 12:49:07 PM
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Seems in at least some cases the native animals manage to adapt though. For example I was quite impressed to see crows figure how to get the upper hand on cane-toads. We also have a problem with certain native birds getting out of hand, especially those ^#%($&@ white cockatoos. Even the tree-hugging greenies in my area have been getting permits to shoor the wretched things !! Does anyone perchance know a way to exterminate indian mynahs ?? I've avoided four-legged mousetraps to date but unless I can figure some other way to get at those nasty little beasts, I may need to visit the local pound and bring home a few big savage Sylvesters.
Posted by praxidice, Wednesday, 29 May 2013 1:17:22 PM
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Instead of blowing zillions of Dollars on so-called research to eradicate pests they could simply offer a bounty. It would be way more effective & it could also involve national Service.
Young & bored city kids could have some outdoor experience & at the same time benefit those who benefit them
Posted by individual, Thursday, 30 May 2013 8:13:03 PM
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That's been tried, Individual, with the result that people were breeding the pests such as rabbits, in their back yards and claiming the bounty.
Posted by ybgirp, Thursday, 30 May 2013 8:24:20 PM
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