1980 July: Fell Gully (Vic) Spraying of Acacia and impact on birds.

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30th July 1980
Field Naturalists of Ballarat

Dear Mr Minister,

Re: Spraying of Acacia armata, Fell Gully.

In reply to your letter of 17th March concerning the effects of spraying of Acacia armata on the nesting birds, I have been seeking information from individuals particularly regarding the Fell Gully area.

We have recorded fledglings dead in nests and nests which had been occupied one week and deserted the next immediately after spraying.

While no hard scientific data is available suggesting that the birds have been killed directly by the spray, there is an enourmous change in the habitat which has an extreme effect on the birds.

A number of species choose the prickly habitat for nesting as a safeguard against predators, and this loss of protection can cause birds to forsake the nest. With spraying, the food source is also decreased, another reason for the mortality rate to increase.

We urge the authorities to seriously consider any undue change in the environment particularly in the spring as this time is more critical for bird populations….

Yours sincerely

****

Hon. Secretary.