Severn Wildfowl Trust (long)

Hans Krauss wingnuts at
Tue Mar 12 11:02:07 PST 2002

Tweetlanders: I just read Farley Mowat's book: "Aftermath" which deals
with his return to his battlefields in Europe after WWII. The last
chapter: "Peter and the Birds" tells about his visit to Slimbridge,
England and the subject wildlife refuge. Peter Scott, son of the
Antartic explorer started the sanctuary in 1946. Slimbridge is located
on the West coast of England at the edge of the Severn estuary near the
salt marshes called the Dumbles. Peter has brought endangered and
threatened species from around the world to this breeding refuge. There
were, at the time of the writing, some 130 odd species of ducks, geese,
swan such as: Egyptian goose, black swans from Australia, trumpeter
swans from Canada, Sushkin's geese from Siberia, half-dozen of European
geese, Bahamian pintails, Chilean teal, Abyssinian yellowbills, African
pollards, New Zealand scaup, Brazilian teal, Magellan geese, Steamer
ducks from Tierra Del Fuego, harlequin ducks from Labrador, pygmy geese
from India, Koloa ducks from Hawaii, Ross' geese from the Canadian
arctic, Bewick's swan, etc. "Peter had two goals in mind. The first
was to build a stock that would be large enough to ensure against total
extinction if the species should disappear in the wild. The second was
to rear additional birds to reinforce the wild stock in home territories
where the species had been badly depleted." A case in point was the Ne
Ne goose from Hawaii with only 40 left in existence in 1952. A footnote
at the time of writing the book stated: "Releases have been made and the
Ne Ne is now out of immediate danger and becoming re-established in the
wild." If Peter is still alive he would be 93.
My questions are: Has anyone been there to see this breeding refuge? Is
it still there or did it revert to a British air force bombing range?
Or an open hunting area for British sportsmen?
Would these free roaming species be legitimate for listers? It sounds
like a great place to photograph many of the world's species in one
location. If anyone has contacts with British birders perhaps you could
forward this to them and send responses to me off-list, Thank you.
Hans Krauss, Spokane, WA

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