Re: [CALBIRDS] Re: Mono Lake & June lake RFI
- At 11:49 PM 10/8/02 -0000, Chris Howard wrote:
>John and Calbirders-Calbirders:
>If you have not already heard, I regret to inform you that two of the
>Mono Basin Black-backed Woodpeckers have been collected.
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
not be collected and that this particular case represented, at best, very
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
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
the collector and/or the institution for which he was collecting should be
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;
Remsen, J. V., Jr. 1995. The importance of continued collecting of bird
specimens to ornithology and bird conservation. Bird Conservation
(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) 746-2999 FAX
- At 05:50 PM 10/8/2002 -0700, Kimball Garrett wrote:
>First, most or all of us in the very tiny community of scientificKimball, Chris, and Calbirders,
>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
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.
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
- 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.
----- Original Message -----
From: Chris Howard
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
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.
--- In CALBIRDS@y..., JLobel@a... wrote:
> We'll be there next weekend.
> Any recent sightings of Black-backed Woodpecker at the forest near
> Tufa area? Or any recent sightings of them in the general area?
> John Lobel
> Thousand Oaks, CA
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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.
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