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AMplify: Episode 7, Dr Richard Major (part one)

By: Alice Gage, Category: At The Museum, Date: 10 May 2016

This week on the AM podcast, CEO and Director Kim McKay speaks to ornithologist Dr Richard Major about the plight of native birds in Sydney.

Richard Major with a White Fronted Chat

Richard Major with a White Fronted Chat
Photographer: Alice Gage © Australian Museum

The AM's Principal Research Scientist in Terrestrial Research, Dr Richard Major, has spent decades monitoring both native and introduced birds in human-dominated landscapes.

“In Sydney there would be fewer than 20 White Fronted Chats left. This bird was collected in 1867 from Homebush Bay, I find this quite an emotional little specimen. You think about how long they have been living there, we’ve managed to have them in the museum for 150 years, but now that population will be extinct very shortly, down to one individual.” 

One current project is removing the destructive Noisy Miner.

"We are capturing these birds by removing them, and that is an experiment to see how long it takes Noisy Miners to colonise patches you’ve taken them away from. And also how quickly small birds will come back to those patches."

 

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