NEW SOUTH WALES ORNITHOLOGICAL RECORDS APPRAISAL COMMITTEE (NSW ORAC)
NSW ORAC was formed on January 11, 1992 and, at its inception, comprised eight committee members from NSW FOC (now Birding NSW), Cumberland BOC, Illawarra BOC, Hunter BOC and the NSW Bird Atlassers. It is a requirement for membership of the committee to have an expert ability in and knowledge of the field identification of birds and to be a member in good standing of at least one of the aforementioned organisations.
The key function of the committee is to receive submissions and provide an informed, discerning and impartial appraisal of claimed records of birds which are rare in New South Wales including Lord Howe Island. The committee maintains a Review List of species for which submissions are required and this Review List is updated annually. NSW ORAC works closely with the BirdLife Australia Rarities Committee (BARC) to avoid duplication when assessing rare birds. BARC assesses submissions of national significance and any species on the BARC Review List are not included on the NSW ORAC Review List ensuring that there is no overlap between the two committees’ review lists. The decisions of NSW ORAC in each calendar year are mailed to the major birding organisations in the State for publication.
The current members of NSW ORAC are Dick Cooper (Chair), Chris Brandis, David James, Alan Morris, Tony Palliser, Allan Richardson, Mick Roderick and Roger McGovern (Secretary).
An Index of Cases is included here as well as a downloadable PDF document which is updated on a regular basis. It should be noted that, although NSW ORAC was formed in 1992, there was a considerable backlog of reports which needed to be verified after the inception of NSW ORAC and Case 1 comprises a record of Sooty Albatross seen on August 2, 1987 off Moruya Heads. It should also be noted that there are unused numbers in the Index of Cases and that these are not ‘lost’ cases but numbers that were never assigned to a case. Copies of the decisions are not included in the Index of Cases but these can be accessed by application to the Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org The Index of Cases also includes all known reported sightings for birds on the Review List and for which no submission was made. These reported, but unconfirmed, sightings do not have case numbers but are included in the Index so that they can be referenced if a submission is later made. If no submission is forthcoming, then they remain as unconfirmed reports rather than accepted or unaccepted records.