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The night parrot, Australia's most elusive bird (abc.net.au)
76 points by oska 7 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 13 comments





If, like, me, you were more interested in understanding why these findings were brought into question, there's another article here: https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-10-12/night-parrot-...

Someone may correct me if I'm wrong, but the night parrot is known to exist in some places in Australia, but this is about a specific location in Southern Australia.

The evidence that they are there, are a few photos of a nest, which people think contains plaster eggs, not real ones.


A friend of mine is in the Australian bird watching community, and tells me the man in question is regarded to be both unscrupulous and litigious (hence I won't repeat any claims). His dogged work-ethic has lead to discoveries that might not otherwise be made, but there are some perverse incentives at play.

> hence I won't repeat any claims

Unrelated question: so does this imply that the libel laws in Australia are similar to those in UK? Thanks!


Yes, but more complicated.

Australian defamation law inherits the English defamation law, though with some differences introduced across time.

I'm not overly familiar with UK law, but some differences I'm aware of:

+ There is no difference between libel and slander.

+ If it can be proven that you acted with malice, any and all defences may instantly be ignored.

However, as harsh as all this is... We also have a ruling from '06 that means that "truth" is an accurate defence. It used to be "truth" is only a defence if it had public benefit, but that requirement was dropped.

If you said only "truth", and without malice aforethought, then you may escape unscathed, but the bar for proving that is very very very high.

The laws around it are also very complicated, and difficult to navigate.

It is easy to claim someone said something that caused damage to a reputation, and if that damage was to an individual, they can sue you, and they may well win.


Not a lawyer, I can't comment on that. I've just heard that a number of people have been gagged, but that is no more than hearsay.

Defamation laws in Australia are quite severe, much more so when compared to the US.

Australian libel laws are incredibly severe; truth is not an absolute defense (as it is in UK law, and in law in pretty much all other democratic countries).


Reminds me of a story from about 10 years ago in Arkansas about a woodpecker https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/jou...

Looks a bit like New Zealand's critically endangered Kakapo (http://nzbirdsonline.org.nz/species/kakapo).


Agreed they look quite similar. I was fortunate to see some Kakapo in the wild while volunteering for New Zealand's Department of Conservation.

I read about them recently in Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams!



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