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Birders Gone Wild

"It is a lot of money to spend on a bird that may or may not be extinct"


It's as extinct as the passenger pigeon, another bird that science can't "prove" is extinct but grown-ups have no trouble admitting is gone forever.

Nathan

We may have to rethink that old adage.

Apparently "Tantalizing evidence" of a bird in the bush is worth 27 million times a bird in the hand.

Who knew?

Chuck Hagner

The New York Times today (Sun, 26 August 07) carried an article in which a FWS spokesman and Sam Hamilton, regional director for the service’s Southeast Region, state that spending $27 million on the woodpecker is worth it. Hamilton is the leader of the recovery team.

Quest for Lost Bird Is Worth It, Officials Say
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/26/us/26woodpecker.html?ref=us

“I would characterize it as tantalizing evidence. We don’t have an active nest right now, we don’t have an 8-by-10 glossy to look at every day,” the spokesman said. “But we’re learning a lot about the bird’s habitat needs and things like that. We’re optimistic.”

Nathan

I think they would be better served making up for past errors by working to prevent birds like Golden-cheeked Warbler, Lesser Prairie-Chicken, and others from suffering the Ivory-bill's fate.

No amount of money is going to bring the Ivory-bill back, but funds cut off to other bird research could doom birds that can still be saved.

Birdfreak

It is a lot of money to spend on a bird that may or may not be extinct, but the bigger problem is the fact that when this bird actually could have been saved, everyone turned away from it.

I guess they are trying to make up for past errors...

Nuthatch

Here is the gist of what I will put in my comments: that there is no concrete evidence that this bird is not extinct -- the evidence so far after intensive searches is no more than suggestive; until there is, no federal funds should be spent for surveys, "assumption-driven research" (!), management of (as yet) rediscovered populations. If people want to donate to this expensive and likely fruitless endeavor, fine. This is not where I want my conservation tax dollars going. As a research ecologist that struggles to find funding to help answer basic ecological questions of real populations of birds, I can say that these dollars need to be spent far more wisely.

This is asinine.

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