Nov 9 2017
Despite some of the worst weather usually experienced at this time of year, exhibitors and visitors to the 2017 Australasian Bird Fair & Wildlife Expo were in high spirits, thanks to the resilience expected from the eco-tourism industry and all who enjoy the outdoors and wildlife. Even when it was a case of all-hands-on-deck to rescue two of our exhibitors from their flooded marquees after an overnight downpour, humour and good spirits shone through with not a word of complaint.
Numbers of visitors were down on what we expected for the time of year. However, the sponsors of the event, Avifauna Research & Services, pledged every dollar from gate sales to ‘Protecting the most important places in Australia for migratory shorebirds’ irrespective of financial shortfalls in any investment in the event. “We were not aiming to make a financial profit” said director Phil Straw. “The main beneficiaries from the event were the birds and other wildlife, in particular critically endangered species that need all the help they can get, given that current political support for the environment and its wildlife is the lowest experienced in Australia for a long time.”
Those new to birdwatching were invited by members of six of the largest bird clubs in NSW to join them on their outings and at monthly meetings. Other opportunities included learning about birds and wildlife and attracting small birds back to gardens from the expert speakers. The packed program of presentations included a scientific approach to feeding birds to benefit their health as well as increase the enjoyment of those who feed them.
“I would like to thank all our exhibitors from across the country as well as those from the far corners of the earth who helped to make our Bird Fair & Wildlife Expo one of the best in the Asia Pacific region. And of course I must thank the army of volunteers without whose unwavering support the event could not have taken place”.
Phil Straw – Sponsor Australasian Bird Fair and Wildlife Expo