The uncontrolled, unmonitored slaughter of protected Adelaide and Yellow Rosellas and Musk and Rainbow Lorikeets by commercial fruit
growers in South Australia was first allowed by the then South Australian Minister for Environment, Dorothy Kotz for a period of 1 year from the 26th of May 1999. The current Minister for Environment Iain Evans has allowed the slaughter to continue for the Adelaide Rosellas and the Musk and Rainbow Lorikeets.
This action is now receiving world wide publicity.
The article below is reproduced with the kind permission of The Advertiser newspaper.
(The Advertiser: www.news.com.au)
Kotz in row over
parrot cull order
FORMER environment minister Dorothy Kotz sanctioned the killing of native birds, describing them as having "no conservation concern".
In mid-1999, Mrs Kotz who was to lose the portfolio in a Cabinet shake-up last year, invoked section 51A of the National Parks and Wildlife Act that allowed orchardists to kill native birds without a permit.
Dr David Paton of Adelaide University, said it appeared Mrs Kotz had no background as to bird numbers when she made the decision "There has not been any research done on population dynamics of native birds", Dr Paton said.
In a May, 1999, letter to a suburban council outlining the changes to the rules restricting native bird culling, Mrs kotz said: "It is not sensible for National Parks and Wildlife officers to be dedicating their time to assessing bird impacts on orchards and issuing permits when
| there is
no practical conservation concern for their species."
Current Environment Minister Iain Evans says the Government has "recognised the need for independent data" on bird numbers.
Mr Evans said a scientist from the University of Adelaide has been assigned to "provide an independent assessment". He said a group made up of growers and with representation from the RSPCA, was already providing advice on bird numbers and department officers also supplied information.
A spokesman for Mrs Kotz, who is the Local Government and Aboriginal Affairs Minister said yesterday she did not want to comment.
Last year, a Department of Environment poll of 231 growers established a conservative estimate that 45,000 lorikeets and rosellas were killed in the Adelaide Hills and Riverland in 1999-2000. The musk lorikeet, Adelaide rosella and yellow rosella were targeted
in the cull in which growers on the Fleurieu Peninsula, Mid North and Mid
Murray also were involved.
Early this year, Mr Evans extended the sanctioned culling until June 30 - although yellow rosellas were removed from the list.
Bird Care and Conservation Society president Sharon Blair claimed: "The environment department seemed to rely on anecdotal evidence from growers that birds were a problem and then allowed the birds to be killed. To say native birds aren't a concern when more than 45,000 have been killed in one year is amazing."
Mrs Blair said anecdotal evidence appeared to show native bird numbers were falling. "People in the Adelaide Hills are now telling us that they can't hear the birds any more. They're saying they don't see any rosellas around like they used to."
Dr Paton said native species could be at risk because there was no figures on bird numbers.
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