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Calif. Bird Spp. of Special Concern book - forum for discussion? (long)

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  • Daniel S. Cooper
    Hi all, I am working my way through the recently-published BSSC book - kudos to those that (finally) got this thing published and distributed. It represents a
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 1, 2008
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      Hi all,

      I am working my way through the recently-published BSSC book - kudos to those that
      (finally) got this thing published and distributed. It represents a major step forward for
      bird conservation in California, obviously.

      However, a recent thought-provoking thread on sbcobirding on Le Conte's Thrasher status
      in Santa Barbara Co. (as represented in the species account) got me wondering - is there a
      forum to discuss and maybe correct some of the information in this book? Several things
      have jumped out at me, including the lack of concurrence between the text and the range
      maps, even when the status and range is very well known (see SoCal distr. of Purple
      Martin, for example), as well as the tendency to "err on the side of exclusion" from the list
      those taxa for which the status is controvertial (northerly-coastal populations of Cactus
      Wren) or simply not available (e.g., Prairie Falcon, whose omission appears to be based on
      a single study more than 20 yrs old showing a stable trend, plus increases on Christmas
      Counts, though no data or statistics are presented.).

      I guess my main concern is that given the absence of any recent or future bird species
      listings at either the state or federal level, this publication will shoulder a lot of weight; if
      Remsen 1978 is any guide, it may persist long after it becomes hopelessly outdated, cited
      by thousands of EIRs, and guiding future land use in the state (often more than most
      people may realize).

      The abstract makes mention of "frequent review and update", as well as the eventual
      creation of an online database, but I wonder who exactly is charged with setting up and
      maintaining this database for new info, or for soliciting and compiling the threads like the
      LETH discussion referenced above? Is this something that we, as a birding community,
      might need to initiate?

      (with apologies for the length of this message)
      Dan Cooper
      Los Angeles
      www.cooperecological.com
      (Author, Important Bird Areas of California)
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