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Old Monday 9th February 2015, 15:29   #76
chris butterworth
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So what is the answer? Stop all ringing, forever? There would be no ringing fatalities then. Only ring "certain" species? You'd need to devise a "species selective" net! Hunt out the "trophy" ringers? As nets / Heligoland / Potter traps are not "selective" how can ringers be going after "trophy" species? It's the luck of the draw. Can we / should we improve the welfare of the birds caught? Of course, but not by promulgating a Luddite rant about non-existent ringers who's whole raison d'etre is to notch up the biggest species list. I agree that the vast majority of those involved with birds like to add a new species to our list but the premise that ringers go out of their way to do so is, frankly, farcical. One last thing. The constant effort of ringing "common" species has given us vast amounts of data on such things as longevity, territory size, male / female ratios etc. All are vital if we wish to conserve the species as a whole, a much more "ethical" and "moral" goal that the saving of an individual.
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Old Tuesday 10th February 2015, 09:35   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Morgan View Post
This is the vital part of the quotation, just in case you'd overlooked it, Colin.
If you mean that I'm not easily persuaded by the repeated mantra 'that the continued blanket ringing of all species is still essential to bird conservation' then I'm guilty as charged. If indeed this is the case, then the sure way to persuade me is to list a few of the conservation successes. At a time of significant, specialist species decline, please point me to a species where ringing alone has been attributed to halting or reversing that decline.
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Old Tuesday 10th February 2015, 10:12   #78
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Demanding "ringing alone" is unfair. Ringing contributes to wider studies in many cases. However, since you asked: The above-mentioned CES ringing scheme has given us survival and productivity data which in the case of reed-bed species would be unobtainable by any other means. Try surveying accurate numbers of Cetti's, Sedge and Reed Warbler with binoculars and a transect map. In the case of the Reed Warbler we now know from CES that although nearly all Afro-Palaearctic migrants are declining, the Reed Warbler is not (I'd imagine from reedbed creation for Bittern over the 90s/00s). Other studies which have not used more advanced tracking, just colour rings, are completely responsible for all we know about, say, Black-Tailed Godwits from Iceland. We now know their survival rates have changed for the better, so conservation efforts on the breeding grounds have 'worked'. Detection of successes, not just declines, is undeniably important.

And from the above are you also saying we should give up on ringing because policy-makers don't listen to ideas put forward from (in this case) ringing studies? What else is new?!
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Old Tuesday 10th February 2015, 11:03   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LowellMills View Post
Demanding "ringing alone" is unfair. Ringing contributes to wider studies in many cases. However, since you asked: The above-mentioned CES ringing scheme has given us survival and productivity data which in the case of reed-bed species would be unobtainable by any other means. Try surveying accurate numbers of Cetti's, Sedge and Reed Warbler with binoculars and a transect map. In the case of the Reed Warbler we now know from CES that although nearly all Afro-Palaearctic migrants are declining, the Reed Warbler is not (I'd imagine from reedbed creation for Bittern over the 90s/00s). Other studies which have not used more advanced tracking, just colour rings, are completely responsible for all we know about, say, Black-Tailed Godwits from Iceland. We now know their survival rates have changed for the better, so conservation efforts on the breeding grounds have 'worked'. Detection of successes, not just declines, is undeniably important.

And from the above are you also saying we should give up on ringing because policy-makers don't listen to ideas put forward from (in this case) ringing studies? What else is new?!
Some good interesting point's, thank you Lowellmills. Nowhere do I advocate stopping all ringing.
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Old Wednesday 11th February 2015, 20:53   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris butterworth View Post
So what is the answer? Stop all ringing, forever? There would be no ringing fatalities then. Only ring "certain" species? You'd need to devise a "species selective" net! Hunt out the "trophy" ringers? As nets / Heligoland / Potter traps are not "selective" how can ringers be going after "trophy" species? It's the luck of the draw. Can we / should we improve the welfare of the birds caught? Of course, but not by promulgating a Luddite rant about non-existent ringers who's whole raison d'etre is to notch up the biggest species list. I agree that the vast majority of those involved with birds like to add a new species to our list but the premise that ringers go out of their way to do so is, frankly, farcical. One last thing. The constant effort of ringing "common" species has given us vast amounts of data on such things as longevity, territory size, male / female ratios etc. All are vital if we wish to conserve the species as a whole, a much more "ethical" and "moral" goal that the saving of an individual.
Nobody wants to stop all ringing; as long as there are people eager and willing to pay for the privilege there is no fear of this happening in the near future. I agree with you that, there is nothing wrong with wanting to ring new species, it's a natural driver for the activity, although I see a big difference in bycatch, and directly targeting a species using sophisticated playback techniques.

How can you label a lone plea, to consider changing our inherited 19th century attitudes towards birds as a (Luddite Rant)? However you choose to wrap up the evidence, it's not really working for the birds at the moment, over and above a few unrelated highs, mainly due to reed-bed creation and climate change, despite amassing all this vital data. Instead of letting the activity itself, become the driver, why not strive for a targeted, selective ringing effort, willing to embrace newly emerging, less intrusive techniques, not just ring all that moves in the hope of some useful data emerging later on. Perhaps try to get away from attitudes that regard some individuals as dispensable, for the greater good of some future 'possible' conservation of the species, when all we really need to do is safeguard a habitat for that species.

Frankly, anyone who has a genuine passion for birds, and does not value, or respect individual birds in their own rite, consciously prepared to sacrifice the few, for data that 'might' be useful to us in the future, should not do it under the banner of (ethical and moral). Simply one person's opinion.
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Old Friday 13th February 2015, 09:17   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qingcol View Post
Frankly, anyone who has a genuine passion for birds, and does not value, or respect individual birds in their own rite, consciously prepared to sacrifice the few, for data that 'might' be useful to us in the future, should not do it under the banner of (ethical and moral). Simply one person's opinion.
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Old Tuesday 3rd March 2015, 15:32   #82
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If you have concerns about the usefulness of bird ringing then I would suggest the article "Is bird ringing still necessary" by Ian Newton in the October 2014 issue of British Birds (BB 107:572-574) is worth reading.
A good, although one-sided article, never once mentioning the true costs of continued, blanket ringing to bird populations.
In view of the natural, continual changes in our avifauna, I would argue that with the advent of satellite tags, continuing to blanket ring large numbers of birds with an average recovery rate less than the known casualty rate (For trapping alone) simply to amass a snapshot of data that, in reality could never be large enough to make any informed decisions, dressed up as demographic models of bird populations, or site-specific ringing-recapture programmes, no doubt would be extremely interesting to us, but in reality, we will never use for the true benefit of securing a bird species. That sort of meaningful benefit would require a genuine sacrifice on the part of all the human population, what chance then if organisations like the BTO refuse to adopt any meaningful change.
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