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|Friday 10th September 2004, 04:00||#1|
Join Date: Sep 2004
New, undiscovered specie - need advice
Through my travel in Brazil, I learned about the new, not yet discovered specie of the bird. I am going back to Brazil to follow up on this story, but I would like the advice from the members of this board. Since I do have limited resources, I would like to contact potential sponsors for this expedition. I am new to this and any advice on whom should I contact and how to proceed would be greatly appreciated.
|Friday 10th September 2004, 17:32||#3|
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Gainesville, Florida, USA
From your message it is not clear whether
A) you want to set up an expedition to document an ongoing investigation on an unamed bird species that is being studied by some ornithologists in Brazil,
B) you want to mount an expedition to find an yet unamed bird species which you intend to describe for science.
A) and B) are very different undertakings with different preparations required. The potential funding sources can be very different too although there might be some superposition.
Type A) expedition would be the simplest, you probably would be able to do it with a tourist visa if you were working as a free-lancer. Then there would be the usual logistical preparations and, some study of fauna and flora and other issues relating to the area whether this species is being studied/searched-for in order to write a good and accurate story. You could obtain funding from natural history magazines, travel magazines, National Geographic, some scientific journals (such as Science, Nature, New Scientist, Scientific American), etc. Nature writing (and photographing!) is a very competitive field and it will be difficult securing funds in advance.
A birding type of expedition (say, one with no professional ornithologist), where the bird is photographed and its vocalizations recorded but no specimen is collected (ie, no individuals of the new species are killed and its skins prepared for a museum collection) usually does not yield the kind of evidence (of a new species) that is acceptable to the ornithological community but it will generate a lot of interest.
Notice that for a new bird species to be recognized by the ornithological community specimens must be collected, skins properly prepared, tissues samples collected and properly stored, photos and vocalization recordings produced. All this material must be properly and institutionally archived so that any ornithological researcher can have access to this data. An article describing the new species must be written and accepted for publication in a refereed ornithological journal. This entails, besides a detailed analysis of the previously mentioned material, also searches in the scientific literature, visits to ornithological collections, consultations with specialists in the taxonomic group to which the new species belongs, etc. Evidently this requires a fair amount of training (formal or informal) in ornithology and institutional contacts.
Assuming you want to comply with the Brazilian law, undertaking B) is only possible if you are a scientist (ornithologist, biologist, etc) officially associated with an academic/research institution in either Canada or Brazil or if you include a person with those credentials and affiliations as the chief scientist in your expedition. Otherwise you will not get the proper permits from the Brazilian authorities and probably will not get funding from either conservation organizations or scientific research agencies.
For a foreign scientist to work legally in Brazil [not as an immigrant but to do some research in Brazil] s/he must obtain a permit from the National Research Council (CNPq) and, in the case of an ornithologist that intends to do field work, a permit from IBAMA (the Brazilian environment and wildlife agency), plus permits to enter the areas where the work is to be carried out (if private property an explicit written authorization from the proprietors) to be submitted with the requests to IBAMA and CNPq. You will also need to have a Brazilian academic/research institution willing to host you and to offically accept and archive any materials that you collect (such as bird specimens) and copies of reports produced by you and members of your expedition. A verbal contract is not enough, both CNPq and IBAMA will require an official letter from such institutions.
It was not clear from your message exactly what you had in mind which is the reason I outlined two of the possibilities.
Last edited by dacol : Friday 10th September 2004 at 17:38.
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