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Re: [CALBIRDS] Re: Mono Lake & June lake RFI

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  • 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 1 of 6 , Oct 8, 2002
      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 2 of 6 , Oct 8, 2002
        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 3 of 6 , Oct 9, 2002
          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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          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • 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 4 of 6 , Oct 9, 2002
            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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