"Rockers AC/DC may have to cancel a sold-out concert because their big sound poses a danger to rare birds.(I got this from http://www.skynews.com.au/showbiz/article.aspx?id=411151.)
Animal rights campaigners are threatening legal action if the band goes ahead with a gig planned for Wels airport in Austria in May.
Hans Uhl of BirdLife said birds nesting in the area at the time would be threatened by anthems such as 'Highway To Hell' and 'You Shook Me All Night Long'.
'The second biggest colony of curlews in Upper Austria and various other ground-nesting birds must not become endangered,' Mr Uhl said.
The 80,000 tickets for the event sold out within hours, after going on sale earlier this month."
I'm a hard-rock fan myself and enjoy AC/DC's music (although I prefer Alice Cooper for example), but let's get a few facts straight here:
Eurasian Curlew nest and eggs
BirdLife, the group Hans Uhl represents, is not an animal rights group (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_rights) composed of activists or campaigners, as stated in the reports, but a wildlife conservation group (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wildlife_conservation) composed of ornithologists (including me, by the way). There's a big difference between those kinds of groups.
Juvenile Eurasian Curlew photographed at Wels airport by © Josef Limberger
Some of the blogs imply that Hans thinks the bird species in question will die out ("be wiped out"). This is not true, but it is true that this particular colony of these rare birds could be wiped out, never to return, if all their nests are trampled this year. I will happily name the various bird species in question to anyone interested (it's not only curlews).
There are plans to protect the meadow as a natural area. It isn't one yet, or else this wouldn't have happened. However, the town of Wels, where the airport is located, neglected to inform the organizers that they need to go through a permit procedure involving government conservation agencies before they started selling tickets.
Adult Eurasian Curlew photographed at Wels airport by © Josef Limberger
As a strange twist of irony, the UN has declared the day of the concert (May 22) as the International Day for Biodiversity (http://www.cbd.int/idb).
Here's Wels Airport. As you can see, it's a little smaller than, say, Chicago O'Hare. The airport's own website (http://www.wmw.at/Aerodrome/Aerodrome_Nature.aspx) brags about rare species of plants, bees and frogs as well as birds. The site's in German, but it has nice pictures :-)
View Larger Map