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Re: Mono Lake & June lake RFI

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  • Chris Howard
    John and Calbirders- If you have not already heard, I regret to inform you that two of the Mono Basin Black-backed Woodpeckers have been collected. The very
    Message 1 of 6 , Oct 8, 2002
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      John and Calbirders-

      If you have not already heard, I regret to inform you that two of the
      Mono Basin Black-backed Woodpeckers have been collected.

      The very unfortunate incident occurred last April when a
      birder/collector shot 2 female Black-backed Woodpeckers in the
      recently burned forest south of Mono Lake. The collector apparently
      did not consider the importance of these birds to the birding
      community. The circumstances were as follows: 1) approximately four
      BBWO's colonized an area where the species had never been recorded;
      2) these birds received major publicity through a "Winging It"
      article and were featured on the Mono Lake Committee website.
      Birders from around the state and beyond came to visit these birds;
      3) the collector shot two of the female BBWO's in the peak of the
      breeding season.

      When birders and other collectors learned of this incident they
      became justifiably outraged. That a collector unilaterally decided
      these specific, publicly-valued woodpeckers would be better off in a
      museum is despicable.

      As birders, I think most of us can appreciate good science. To this
      end, I believe limited scientific collecting does have its place in
      modern ornithology. However, scientific collectors need to factor in
      all ramifications, including affecting the birding public, before
      deciding to collect. In California, there are legitimate and ethical
      scientific collectors who feel the BBWO collector's decision is
      disgraceful. Nearly everyone I've talked to feels this collector
      should have his scientific collection permit revoked. Further, this
      collector apparently has a history of collecting publicly-
      valued "stakeout" birds, e.g., Least Flycatcher last winter on a
      Christmas Bird Count.

      If you feel, as I do, this individual should have his scientific
      collecting permit revoked please contact Dale Steele, Supervising
      Biologist, Fish and Game Department Species Conservation and Recovery
      Program at dsteele@... or (916) 653-3444.

      By the way, I have not heard of any recent reports on the remaining
      BBWO's since the collecting, but have had luck in Toulumne Meadows
      and Devils Postpile.

      Regards,
      Chris Howard
      Bishop


      --- In CALBIRDS@y..., JLobel@a... wrote:
      > We'll be there next weekend.
      >
      > Any recent sightings of Black-backed Woodpecker at the forest near
      the South
      > Tufa area? Or any recent sightings of them in the general area?
      >
      > Thanks!
      > John
      >
      >
      > John Lobel
      > Thousand Oaks, CA
      > JLobel@a...
    • Kimball Garrett
      ... Calbirders: Ironically, I was just about out the door of the museum on my way to giving a program to Los Angeles Audubon entitled What Museum Collections
      Message 2 of 6 , Oct 8, 2002
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        At 11:49 PM 10/8/02 -0000, Chris Howard wrote:
        >John and Calbirders-
        >
        >If you have not already heard, I regret to inform you that two of the
        >Mono Basin Black-backed Woodpeckers have been collected.

        Calbirders:

        Ironically, I was just about out the door of the museum on my way to giving
        a program to Los Angeles Audubon entitled "What Museum Collections Teach Us
        About Birds and Bird Conservation" when Chris Howard's e-mail popped up. I
        have no intention of engaging in a pro- vs. anti-collecting debate on
        Calbirds, and this is NOT the place for such a debate. But I did want to
        point out three things.

        First, most or all of us in the very tiny community of scientific collectors
        of birds in California agree heartily with Chris that "staked out" birds
        should
        not be collected and that this particular case represented, at best, very
        poor
        judgment on the part of the collector. The fact is, the taking of staked-out
        birds almost never happens and there are more important issues for us all
        to be
        concerned about.

        Second, I would urge everybody to remember that this is about the particular
        issue of collecting staked-out birds and not about scientific collecting in
        general. Any communications to the Department of Fish and Game regarding the
        collection of these woodpeckers should be factual and, in my opinion, limited
        to this particular case and not to the whole issue of collecting. In
        fairness,
        the collector and/or the institution for which he was collecting should be
        allowed
        to make their case to the birding community and DF&G if they wish to do so.

        Finally, for those who feel this really does have to be about the issue of
        collecting in general, please read the following before going any further;
        it is
        extremely educational:

        Remsen, J. V., Jr. 1995. The importance of continued collecting of bird
        specimens to ornithology and bird conservation. Bird Conservation
        International 5:145-180.

        Kimball
        (no, there are no Mono Basin BBWO in the LACM collections........)





        Kimball L. Garrett
        Ornithology Collections Manager
        Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
        900 Exposition Blvd.
        Los Angeles, CA 90007 USA
        (213) 763-3368
        (213) 746-2999 FAX
        kgarrett@...
      • Steve Sosensky
        ... Kimball, Chris, and Calbirders, To me, there are worse offenses involved in this case than taking staked-out birds. Much more heinous is that the birds
        Message 3 of 6 , Oct 8, 2002
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          At 05:50 PM 10/8/2002 -0700, Kimball Garrett wrote:
          >First, most or all of us in the very tiny community of scientific
          >collectors of birds in California agree heartily with Chris that "staked
          >out" birds should not be collected and that this particular case
          >represented, at best, very poor judgment on the part of the
          >collector. The fact is, the taking of staked-out birds almost never
          >happens and there are more important issues for us all to be concerned about.
          >
          >Second, I would urge everybody to remember that this is about the
          >particular issue of collecting staked-out birds and not about scientific
          >collecting in general. Any communications to the Department of Fish and
          >Game regarding the collection of these woodpeckers should be factual and,
          >in my opinion, limited to this particular case and not to the whole issue
          >of collecting.

          Kimball, Chris, and Calbirders,

          To me, there are worse offenses involved in this case than taking
          staked-out birds. Much more heinous is that the birds were the only two
          adult females in the area and both were taken from active nests. That is
          the point I stressed in my email to Dan Steele.

          In my opinion, collecting should be done only in areas where the local
          population is not significantly impacted, and on places like the Farallons
          where the likelihood of the bird ever seeing land again is very slim.


          Good birding,
          Steve <mailto:steve@...> for general use
          <mailto:mobile@...> for rare birds and emergencies only

          Steve Sosensky, photographer www.sosensky.com
          10834 Blix Street #213 818-508-4946
          Toluca Lake, CA 91602 34:09:23.411 N, 118:21:56.678 W
          Audubon in So. California www.SoCalAudubon.org/socal/
          San Fernando Valley AS www.SanFernandoValleyAudubon.org/sfvas/
          AIM ID: SteveS310 Yahoo Messenger ID: SteveSosensky
          SoCal FRS: use channel 11 code 22
        • Jim Lomax
          To process a complaint, we need this collector s name. I saw these birds. I m glad I wasn t there when they were collected or the collector would have been
          Message 4 of 6 , Oct 9, 2002
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            To process a complaint, we need this collector's name. I saw these birds. I'm glad I wasn't there when they were collected or the collector would have been collected.

            Jim
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: Chris Howard
            To: CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Tuesday, October 08, 2002 4:49 PM
            Subject: [CALBIRDS] Re: Mono Lake & June lake RFI


            John and Calbirders-

            If you have not already heard, I regret to inform you that two of the
            Mono Basin Black-backed Woodpeckers have been collected.

            The very unfortunate incident occurred last April when a
            birder/collector shot 2 female Black-backed Woodpeckers in the
            recently burned forest south of Mono Lake. The collector apparently
            did not consider the importance of these birds to the birding
            community. The circumstances were as follows: 1) approximately four
            BBWO's colonized an area where the species had never been recorded;
            2) these birds received major publicity through a "Winging It"
            article and were featured on the Mono Lake Committee website.
            Birders from around the state and beyond came to visit these birds;
            3) the collector shot two of the female BBWO's in the peak of the
            breeding season.

            When birders and other collectors learned of this incident they
            became justifiably outraged. That a collector unilaterally decided
            these specific, publicly-valued woodpeckers would be better off in a
            museum is despicable.

            As birders, I think most of us can appreciate good science. To this
            end, I believe limited scientific collecting does have its place in
            modern ornithology. However, scientific collectors need to factor in
            all ramifications, including affecting the birding public, before
            deciding to collect. In California, there are legitimate and ethical
            scientific collectors who feel the BBWO collector's decision is
            disgraceful. Nearly everyone I've talked to feels this collector
            should have his scientific collection permit revoked. Further, this
            collector apparently has a history of collecting publicly-
            valued "stakeout" birds, e.g., Least Flycatcher last winter on a
            Christmas Bird Count.

            If you feel, as I do, this individual should have his scientific
            collecting permit revoked please contact Dale Steele, Supervising
            Biologist, Fish and Game Department Species Conservation and Recovery
            Program at dsteele@... or (916) 653-3444.

            By the way, I have not heard of any recent reports on the remaining
            BBWO's since the collecting, but have had luck in Toulumne Meadows
            and Devils Postpile.

            Regards,
            Chris Howard
            Bishop


            --- In CALBIRDS@y..., JLobel@a... wrote:
            > We'll be there next weekend.
            >
            > Any recent sightings of Black-backed Woodpecker at the forest near
            the South
            > Tufa area? Or any recent sightings of them in the general area?
            >
            > Thanks!
            > John
            >
            >
            > John Lobel
            > Thousand Oaks, CA
            > JLobel@a...


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          • Jean D. Brandt
            Steve: Why am I still getting CALBIRDS when I put no mail in my group preferences? Since I m going to be gone for 5 days, I don t want to have so much mail
            Message 5 of 6 , Oct 9, 2002
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              Steve:

              Why am I still getting CALBIRDS when I put "no mail" in my group
              preferences? Since I'm going to be gone for 5 days, I don't want to have
              so much mail piling up.

              Thanks, as usual, for your help. I'll see you at the conference and will
              have a couple of Tanagers for you.

              Jean

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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