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Fenwick's Antpitta

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Old Saturday 5th March 2011, 23:50   #76
Robert Giles
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Eric, thanks for posting that link. You're quite right of course. The only thing I would take issue with you very slightly is that you say that "ProAves is fighting this".
We (I say this as the only non-Colombian member of the junta) are not really trying to fight anyone, we just want to put the historical record straight and move on, to get on with job in hand of saving endangered birds in Colombia in a collaborative and positive way.
Due to the successful work Luis Rubelio Garcia (ProAves reserve guard) in feeding the species with worms, many people have had the opportunity to see this species at close quarters in the ProAves Dusky Starfrontlet reserve. It remains the sole location for this CR species and fortunately the 20-30 pairs are well protected in the reserve that was established in 2005 (long before the species was discovered) with the personal support of the Fenwick family.
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Old Sunday 6th March 2011, 10:37   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Globalbirder View Post
BTW, you can follow that post at: http://www.proaves.org/article.php?id_article=980 and read a detailed "Response" article published in Conservacion Colombiana clarifying the situation and results of the Colombian government investigation that vindicates ProAves and finds Diego Caraton guilty of illegal bird collecting: http://www.proaves.org/IMG/pdf/CC14/...enwickorum.pdf
Shades of the 'orchid wars' of past decades....
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Old Sunday 6th March 2011, 19:18   #78
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Hi all

I have summerized all the events in a blog post on birdingblogs.com as well as all the relevant links to have all in one place easily accessible. Have a peak!
I admit there is nothing new in the post, but I do make some questions - which I don't expect will be answered.

Would it not have been better for ProAves if they had:
1. Abstained to publish? Surely, they could have given the Fenwick name to another species – for instance that new undescribed Megascops in Santa Marta. Carantón would have to face the legal consequences of his actions.
2. Accepted that Caranton chose any name he pleased and go ahead and publish together.

On the other hand when it comes to Caranton:
Why all this trouble? Would it not have been better to work with ABC, knowing that a specimen was obtained without proper permits?


I suppose the answer really lies in the fact that the relationship between ProAves and the Colombian Ornithologists was damaged long before this issue. The parties simply entered the arena with locked positions - hence the disasterous messy result.
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Last edited by Birding Peru : Sunday 6th March 2011 at 19:19. Reason: corrections and additions - posted to hasty
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Old Sunday 6th March 2011, 20:14   #79
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Very good blog Birding Peru. Some thoughts on your questions having already reviewed all the editorials / responses / comments, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Birding Peru View Post
1. Abstained to publish? Surely, they could have given the Fenwick name to another species – for instance that new undescribed Megascops in Santa Marta. Carantón would have to face the legal consequences of his actions.
I understand that once a new species is described, the name attached to it cannot be undone. So a post-publication legal actions appears pointless - what would you gain?

The reasoning I see for the Fenwick family being credited with this antpitta is clear - the Fenwick's were the sole supporter to buy and protect the land that established the Colibri del Sol Reserve (the core area for the species as I understand) and supported ProAves costs of Diego Caraton. Given that the new species was found on a reserve the Fenwick's can be credited for, seems appropriate to credit them.

So why would Caraton credit the name to an administrative sub-division (municipality) rather than the family that has committed to saving this and many other wonderful species at his reserve?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Birding Peru View Post
I suppose the answer really lies in the fact that the relationship between ProAves and the Colombian Ornithologists was damaged long before this issue.
I think you've hit the nail on the head here Birding Peru. From what I can see - there has been a boiling resentment of Proaves for years. They have achieved so much (I've seen firsthand several of their great nature reserves) so saddened for Colombia to see the face off between bird conservation vs. ornithological community. They would benefit from both taking a step back and talking with each other....
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Old Monday 7th March 2011, 07:31   #80
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SACC proposal 479 - Recognize the newly described species Grallaria urraoensis?
"479. Reconocer la especie recientemente descrita Grallaria urraoensis como especie (Luis Sandoval)"
at the bottom of the page
http://www.museum.lsu.edu/~remsen/SACCproproster.html
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Old Monday 7th March 2011, 14:47   #81
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the proposal is listed but the link does not appear to work
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Old Monday 7th March 2011, 17:53   #82
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Erik (Global Birder) - yes, I know it can't be undone. What I meant with these questions is what could have been done to avoid this mess.
I like your comment: "They would benefit from both taking a step back and talking with each other...."
Peter and Mysteceti: I wrote Van Remsen to point out that the link
http://www.museum.lsu.edu/~remsen/SACCprop479.html
does not work.

Everyone: I have made several updates on the Blogpost....

including supplying a link to this thread :-)
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Last edited by Birding Peru : Monday 7th March 2011 at 17:54. Reason: change color of link. Hard to see for the color-blind :-)
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Old Tuesday 8th March 2011, 03:01   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mysticete View Post
the proposal is listed but the link does not appear to work
I sent a note to Van regarding the broken link.

His response was that the proposal needed more work and had not been posted.
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Old Tuesday 8th March 2011, 06:17   #84
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The plot thickens: See the recent updates. The feud had already begun in 2007 - three years before the description of the Antpitta.
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Old Tuesday 8th March 2011, 15:58   #85
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Quote:
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The plot thickens: See the recent updates. The feud had already begun in 2007 - three years before the description of the Antpitta.
Gunnar - Thanks for the additional background.

To reduce confusion, would it be possible to change the date on the last few updates from May to March?
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Old Tuesday 8th March 2011, 23:40   #86
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Thanks Steve, I noticed I did a typo last night. It has been corrected.

Maybe time to put an end this and both parties could get to an agreement on the following. An excellent response by Floyd Hayes on the NeoOrn list.

Now that I have spent several hours thoroughly reading both sides of this sad but fascinating fiasco, which somehow managed to escape my attention until a few days ago, I would like to summarize my personal conclusions:

1. Everybody must respect the existing laws of the land within a government’s jurisdiction, including researchers who must obtain a collecting permit before collecting any specimen, even an undescribed species.

2. Employees must respect the contractual obligations of their employer; if they disagree, they should resign and find employment elsewhere (which may be difficult, given the limited availability of options for employment).

3. Organizations must not impose unreasonable contractual obligations on their employees, such as demanding ownership of intellectual property rights and prior approval before publishing scientific results of a non-commercial nature in a scientific journal, otherwise employees will become disgruntled and the organization will lose the respect of its supporters. Birds must not be equated with pharmaceuticals.

4. Conservation organizations and scientists, including scientists who collect specimens, must consider each other as allies in the conservation of biodiversity, and respect differences in philosophical approaches to conservation.

5. Public statements must be signed if they are not intended to reflect the philosophy of an organization.

6. The authors of public statements must strive to be as accurate as possible.

7. When one or more persons are offended by one or more inaccuracies in a public statement, the record must be set straight and an apology issued.

8. The discoverer of a new species has a moral right to describe and name it, or to approve of someone else describing and naming it. Nobody can usurp that moral right.

9. Money and fame must not be motives for claiming credit for somebody else’s scientific discovery without consent of the discoverer.

10. We must all strive to get along, even if we must agree to disagree.

I apologize if anybody is offended by anything I have written here.
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Old Tuesday 8th March 2011, 23:55   #87
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Maybe it is time to invoke this quote:

2. A zoologist should not publish a new name if he or she has reason to believe that another person has already recognized the same taxon and intends to establish a name for it (or that the taxon is to be named in a posthumous work). A zoologist in such a position should communicate with the other person (or their representatives) and only feel free to establish a new name if that person has failed to do so in a reasonable period (not less than a year).

From the Appendix A, Code of Ethics

of INTERNATIONAL CODE OF ZOOLOGICAL NOMENCLATURE online
http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted-sites/iczn/code/

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Old Wednesday 9th March 2011, 00:41   #88
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The quote you cite is great in theory, but usually it is impossible to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the researchers knew what the other person was doing. I can think of several cases in paleontology that would support my assertion.
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Old Wednesday 9th March 2011, 21:22   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birding Peru View Post
....Floyd Hayes on http://birdingblogs.com/2011/Gunnar/...ornithologists wrote: "Carantón assigned all intellectual property rights in his work to ProAves, his employer. This is a standard term of employment contracts in Colombia. As in many other countries, the employer’s rights to an employee’s intellectual property is automatic, and there is often no need even to state this in the contract. For example, an employee researcher of a pharmaceutical company cannot publish results of research independently or sell products developed in the course of employment on a personal basis. Furthermore, most employers and many universities and research institutions, like ProAves, have approval processes for published work of their employees. All intellectual property developed by Carantón in the course of his employment belongs to his employer, ProAves and he could only publish information resulting from his employment with the consent of his employers."

I have published many scientific papers during my employment as a professor by three different universities (one public, two private) in two countries, as a graduate student in two universities, and as an employee of two government agencies, and none has ever demanded prior approval or to be informed in advance before I published a paper. The notion of ProAves demanding ownership of the intellectual rights of its employees strikes me as being unduly heavy-handed. I would have to be desperate for employment before I would ever consider working for such a demanding employer.
As a teacher, I understand Floyd Hayes comment, but should stress that Floyd fails to note that the organisation in question (Proaves) is not a University or government agency, it does not receive government handouts or have students paying for the privilege of studying. Proaves website http://www.proaves.org shows it is clearly a charity NGO that depends on project donations and therefore responsible to its donors. They have reportedly supported over 100 undergraduate student thesis projects, been involved in over 50 scientific articles and specifically involved in many new species for science. Having checked - they have never been involved in any problem of this nature before and clearly support and encourage research while focusing effort on conservation. It is actually quite unusual to see charities support so much research while fulfilling their mission of wildlife protection.

The request by Proaves over intellectual rights is rare from the perspective of academic researchers, but completely within their rights as an institution and something that is almost bog-standard outside the academic sector. Proaves was open and transparent with that request by declaring it within the employment contract of the person in question. In retrospect, it was prophetic that proaves secured those intellectual rights - precisely to ensure against this "renegade" employee who was found guilty by a government entity of illegal bird collecting.

It is interesting that there is no criticism of the journal that published the second article using the illegal specimens, despite being aware of the original claim (now vindicated) of the illegal collecting and even when another US journal rejected the article for that reason. In the ten points by Floyd, it is surprising that something like the following is absent: "Organisations and/or journals should verify that collecting permits are in order and that there is no disputes on data collected before proceeding to publish papers. Illegal collection of specimens and data shall not be rewarded."

Rewarding someone with a publication for having undertaken illegal activities within a nature reserve based on the predilection that they have a "moral right to describe it" (#8) seems dubious. In fact, let's be crystal clear, anyone that illegally collects forfeits all moral rights. If the ornithological community fails to condemn illegal collecting within protected areas - they set a dangerous precedent.
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Old Wednesday 9th March 2011, 21:38   #90
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To be honest I am not impressed with either Journal in this matter...
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Old Wednesday 9th March 2011, 22:49   #91
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working now!

http://www.museum.lsu.edu/~Remsen/SACCprop479.html
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Old Thursday 10th March 2011, 00:06   #92
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Specifically the proposal deals with whether the bird is a new species, not conflict in scientific or common name.

Seems rather backward. Shouldn't the name situation be dealt with first, THEN whether it is a valid species to be added? I agree with Cadena on this (who is abstaining his vote due to his own involvement in this "saga").
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Old Thursday 10th March 2011, 01:16   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mysticete View Post
Specifically the proposal deals with whether the bird is a new species, not conflict in scientific or common name.

Seems rather backward. Shouldn't the name situation be dealt with first, THEN whether it is a valid species to be added? I agree with Cadena on this (who is abstaining his vote due to his own involvement in this "saga").
Hmmm, he does start by saying yes to this being a new species, before he starts the dissenting comment about whether this is the correct way forward.

The question is, should the scientific name be brought in front of the ICZN and not decided by SACC?

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Old Thursday 10th March 2011, 03:40   #94
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Good Point

I see two issues here: Is the holotype valid for fenwickorum, and does the journal constitute a valid publication under ICZN rules (I don't know much specifically about the journal, but it is apparently operated by Proaves...?)
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Old Thursday 10th March 2011, 04:16   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mysticete View Post
does the journal constitute a valid publication under ICZN rules (I don't know much specifically about the journal, but it is apparently operated by Proaves...?)
not apparently operated by themselves, it is more than obvious!...

** from Conservacion Colombiana vol 13 - May 2010 where they describe the antpitta. (http://www.proaves.org/IMG/pdf/Conse...mbian_13.pdf):

They do not have an editor in chief!, but a team:

Comité Editorial: David Caro, Lina Daza, Thomas Donegan, Alonso Quevedo y Paul Salaman

!!!!! ALL PROAVES STAFF!!!!!!!!!




** from Conservacion Colombiana vol 14 - March 2011 after describing the antpitta. (http://www.proaves.org/IMG/pdf/CC14/...ditorial.pdf):

Now in the recent issue, they have someone "on charge" (!) and show this info:

Editor General: Yojanan Lobo–y–HenriquesJC ????

Comité editorial: David Caro, Lina Daza, Thomas Donegan, Sandra Escudero, Alonso Quevedo y Paul Salaman.

!!!!! ALL PROAVES STAFF again, only those of that ilk....






disgusting!

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Old Thursday 10th March 2011, 05:38   #96
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Please excuse me you all BF users following this thread for this response not dealing directly with the main theme on the antpitta name etc; but had to clear a couple of points to user Globalbirder/Eric:

I am not interested on discussing about the main topic of this thread with someone not even close enough and with experience with the Colombian ornithological/conservation/birding community as you Globalbirder/Eric, but:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Globalbirder View Post
Hi Diego Calderon,
I see your company is in competition with Proaves /ecoturs
My company (COLOMBIA Birding) is not in competition with Proaves/Ecoturs... actually, as a company, we do have business with Ecoturs because we visit some of the reserves they manage a couple of times a year with our clients... COLOMBIA Birding has never felt "threatened" in any way -commercially- by proaves/ecoturs; fortunately we do have very different standards about how to deal/operate our birding tours. We do have different niches, and operate in a totally different way in terms of group size, sites visited, relationships with local communities and farmers, and with local guides, guiding, etc.

There is still enough birdwatchers in the world interested in coming to Colombia that competition -specially with/against companies like Ecoturs- is something worrying us nothing (but making us all local operators stronger).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Globalbirder View Post
and also see that you detest Proaves bird conservation work and their donors as seen on your many online posts. That's each person's prerogative, but let's be clear, you are most definitely not an unbiased party and appear to be a major antagonist to proaves and their bird conservation work.
... here I have to admit you are totally right as I am definitely not an unbiased party: I have been personally, and as former editor of the journal Boletin SAO, affected by Proaves dodgy&dirty modus-operandi in the past!... like more than a few Colombian birding/conservation/ornithology associations and people.



chao.
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Old Thursday 10th March 2011, 10:51   #97
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1. Is the holotype valid for fenwickorum? (I think yes)
(The holotpe is constituted solely by:
a) Feather samples…(in a tissue collection of a museum)
b) For purposes of Article 74.1.4 …the individual depicted in Figure 1 and the Cover of this edition )
“Only the following are eligible to be a name bearing type”…72.5.1 an animal or any part of an animal… (Feathers are “any part of an animal”) 72.5.6 The bird on the cover of the journal is the name bearing type not the photograph. See 73.1.4. 73.1.3 The holotype of a new nominal species group taxon can only be fixed in the original publication and by the original author…

2. {Are the illegal (not taxonomically illegal what ever that would be!) specimens paratypes??} (72.4.5) (No) Proaves specifically excluded the illegal specimens. (“Donegan (2008b)’s recommendation that ‘If a specimen based on a dead organism exists, then it is better to use it for a type specimen, whatever the circumstances in which it was procured’, we have decided against such an approach in this instance and instead designated a different holotype for which the relevant permit was available.” {Recommendation 72B)}

3. “Does the journal constitute a valid publication under ICZN rules?” (Maybe, yes?)Minimal requirements for this I think this Bird Forum thread if printed out and sent to five major accessible libraries would qualify! On the other hand in Appendix B to the Code it is recommended that “new names should be established in a work…which is self-evidently published in the meaning of the Code and has a wide circulation and which zoologists would not regard as unlikely to contain new names in the taxonomic field concerned”


4. “The question is, should the scientific name be brought in front of the ICZN and not decided by SACC?” (ICZN is proposal driven also?? Not sure Grand Fenwick Antpitta situation fits any path to proposal to Commission???)
Under 75.5 “When an author considers that the taxonomic identity of a nominal species-group taxon cannot be determined from its existing name-bearing type(ie its name is nomen dubium) and stability or universality are threatened thereby, the author may request the Commission to set aside under its plenary power [Art. 81] the existing name bearing type and designate a neotype.

Also, 73.1.5 If a subsequent author finds that a holotype which consists of a set of components (e.g. disarticulated body parts) is not derived from an individual animal the extraneous components may be excluded from the holotype. ??????

5. As for the Code of Ethics they really are more of a recommendation not a rule. Although part 2. sure fits this situation.
“usually it is impossible to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the researchers knew what the other person was doing.” Mysticete. But not here the two parties were in negotiations so we know what each party knew when.
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Old Tuesday 15th March 2011, 17:02   #98
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ProAves response to NEOORN postings - and some personal views on all this mess

I would really rather not get involved in this debate at all, but the below message sent to NEOORN earlier may be of interest. It refers to some postings on other sites and some here:

Subject: ProAves response to NEOORN postings - and some personal views on all this mess
From: Thomas Donegan
Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2011 13:08:07 +0000

Dear all,
There have been some bizarre comments on this forum about ProAves and this Grallaria. As one of few members of ProAves still left in this discussion group (many people having signed off long ago), I have been asked by colleagues to send this message correcting a few mis-statements made on this forum and elsewhere. Some may think of this email as defending the undefendable and I appreciate that this issue has polarised people's views. But the other side have been defended here using rumours presented as fact and have attacked ProAves with strong language. Some things therefore need clarifying and it unfortunately falls on these reluctant shoulders to do that. Knowing some of the members of this group, I look forward with trepidation to the public execution which will follow this message, but would encourage members of NEOORN please not to shoot the messenger in replying. As set out at the end of this message, the author of it has very mixed feelings about all of this and was not a central character in this mess. ProAves would like to draw the attention of NEOORN members to the following and I am therefore passing these points on:

1. ProAves has clarified in a statement (http://www.proaves.org/article... that it is not opposed to collecting in appropriate circumstances. Various external researchers have asked in advance and been given permission to collect in its nature reserves, including Daniel Cadena – one of the people at the centre of this dispute – so this should be common knowledge. ProAves asks for a rationale to be presented as to why the particular specimen collection activity in question is necessary, for proper permits to be in place and for reporting under the permits to be complied with. This is understandable given that ProAves’ reserves are established to protect birds and because it is now liable for a massive fine due to collecting activities it never knew about or authorised. In response to Floyd’s latest message, ProAves has indeed sanctioned specific instances of scientific collecting and recognises that there are mortalities resulting from its mist-net and expedition programmes. ProAves has only condemned illegal collecting and the withholding of information.

2. Why David Caro is leaving his current position at ProAves. Before January, the "chisme" was that David resigned due to disagreeing with ProAves' stance on the Grallaria. Now it has conversely been claimed on this forum that he has been sacked for defending ProAves' position. This is an interesting conclusion, as he was already "outgoing" per Science when the quote was published. To dispell a myth: David Caro has had various health problems last year and resigned from his position at the end of last year on medical advice. He has since then been transitioning his work to the new executive director, Lina Daza, part time. David Caro was recently nominated to become a member of ProAves' advisory counsel (consejo). As a result, he is likely to maintain an active role at ProAves in whatever position he seeks following his recovery, be it at ProAves or elsewhere.

3. “We needed the name to raise more funds.” David Caro has asked that it be communicated to this forum that he considers to have been misquoted in Science. The quote attributed to him does not make sense anyway because the Fenwick donation which led to the purchase of the Colibri del Sol reserve occurred several years before the Grallaria was found and was given unconditionally. No funding was received or sought by ProAves for ‘naming rights’ (if such a thing exists). Use of fenwickorum was just something that people at ProAves wanted to do to thank a valued donor.

4. The end of David Caro's era as director of ProAves should not be surrounded only by negative comment. He has been a tireless worker and very effective administrator for conservation and research in Colombia. His tenure as executive director, and previously as part of ProAves' administrative staff, has seen ProAves' protected area network grow considerably to 18 nature reserves protecting over 22,0000 hectares of endangered tropical forest. A number of huge strides forward in the foundation's conservation management, environmental education, community outreach and research programmes have taken place during this time in charge. He should be congratulated for his excellent work in furthering conservation in Colombia.

5. ProAves and Ecoturs are not “for profit”. Ecoturs gives all its profits from ecotourism to ProAves. Ecoturs operates in a separate legal entity for legal reasons – because a charity is not allowed to provide ecotourism services in Colombia. Ecoturs undertakes ecotourism operations to assist with the sustainability of ProAves’ nature reserves. The income ProAves receives from Ecoturs funds core reserve protection costs and allows ProAves to focus on expanding nature reserves in size and number. The benefits for birds and conservation from this arrangement are clear. ProAves actively raises funds but entirely for its conservation work. It operates with a lean administrative and office staff, channelling funding where possible to land purchase for conservation and the management and protection of its existing reserves. Almost all of its reserves are registered with the National Parks network and those which are not have applications pending. ProAves is frequently audited by its donors and other third parties. It should be regarded as a model for effective conservation work by an NGO in Latin America.

6. CORPOURABA’s enforcement action against Carantón (and, through his agency, ProAves) was for a breach of reporting requirements, not for illegal collecting per se. ProAves has taken the position that the collecting itself was irregular because ProAves would usually at least notify proposed instances of collection in advance to the regional corporation where it is borderline as regards the scope of the permit. This is discussed in the second editorial. However, there was no such finding by CORPOURABA - who concentrated on the easy-to-prove reporting violations. Assertions that ProAves’ feather sampling was illegal miss the point: these activities were duly reported to the regional corporation. It is the reporting aspects that Carantón was found to have breached, presumably a consequence of his wish (for reasons that are still not clear) to hide the discovery from his then employer, ProAves.

7. Was the Barrera et al. paper really “scientifically irresponsible” in using samples? There were two specimens of this critically endangered species already collected. These were cited, illustrated and discussed in the fenwickorum paper as forming part of the basis for the description. Barrera et al. presented full details of their justification for what they did: the two existing specimens were under threat of confiscation pursuant to a freezing order issued by the environmental authority CORPOURABA. There are recent examples of illegally collected specimens being confiscated from museums in Colombia in similar circumstances, so they did not want to create types which would end up confiscated and unavailable for study in the office of a Corporación Autónoma Regional or rubbish bin. In the event, it has been ordered that they be transferred to another museum, one assumes as some sort of sanction for the ICN’s own failure also to report the specimens. Perhaps the fenwickorum authors should have used the full specimens anyway; and many would conclude that they should have waited until the investigation had run its course. Some people with a particular view about bird collections and holotypes might say that they should have collected a third specimen for use as a holotype and reported it in compliance with the permits. The question of whether the collection of a third full specimen of a critically endangered species is warranted is not a straightforward one, given that the two specimens already available were considered sufficient for two independent teams to conclude that a new species was involved and to describe its phenotype in detail. Notably, the Carantón & Certuche team also captured but did not collect further individuals. We can all discuss whether a different holotype should have been selected, but it is understandable why the individual on which fenwickorum holotype is based was released.

8. Gary Stiles is a great ambassador and servant for ornithology and conservation in Colombia and elsewhere. He was one of the council members of ProAves in its early days. Though he is no longer in that position, many people at ProAves greatly appreciate his work and contribution to ornithological study. Gary is a great ornithologist and his work has led to important conservation outcomes.

9. John Burton of World Land Trust has done more than perhaps anyone else in fundraising for land purchase for conservation from public donations. Hundreds of thousands of hectares of forest and the birds that inhabit them throughout the world are protected because of him and World Land Trust. John is a great conservationist.

10. It is unnecessary and futile to compare different people’s important but differing contributions to conservation in a subjective, biased, self-serving manner in the way that has been done on this listserver.

11. ProAves recognises that the widely discussed ABC Bird Calls paper includes factual inaccuracies, as has been widely pointed out. As regards matters relating to Colombia, the Atlapetes latinuchus yariguierum description was based on a series of specimens, including the holotype which was collected on a ProAves expedition (which died having been roosted overnight for further study). Also, there were fewer Bushbirds collected than was stated in the ABC article. The opinions expressed in Bird Calls are those of ABC, not ProAves. The viewpoints on John Burton’s blog are his own. ProAves did not review or approve either of those pieces and neither ABC nor WLT has implied this.

12. ProAves may partner in projects and conservation actions with ABC, WLT and other organisations, but each are separate organisations, with their own staff, have their own position on issues such as specimen collecting and also include various individual employees or directors who have different attitudes on this and other topics.

13. Dusky Starfrontlet authors. An email written by Niels Krabbe (lead author) to the other co-authors dated 23 January 2005 argues that Paul should be an author of the paper because he conceived, obtained funding for and organised much of the logistics for ProAves expedition to Frontino (which rediscovered the species) and because he wrote a good portion of the manuscript. If that is correct, then it is not clear why his co-authorship of the paper should be controversial.

14. Santa Marta Screech Owl specimen. The collection of the specimen and its current status have been reported to CORPAMAG. One specimen was collected outside the El Dorado Nature Reserve in an area which has recently been acquired and added to the reserve. The collection was only undertaken after a two-month period of field research on the owl to assess its population status. This specimen is the type for a paper being written on the new Megascops. When that is ready, and within the terms of permission, the specimen will be deposited in a registered bird collection. This approach has been agreed with the lead author, who is no longer involved with ProAves and has had full access to the specimen.

15. If people want to learn more about the dispute, then they should read the three editorials and Cadena’s response to the second ProAves paper in full rather than dipping into selected highlights/lowlights:

First ProAves editorial (including English translation)
http://www.proaves.org/IMG/pdf...

ACO editorial:
http://www.ornitologiacolombia...

ProAves response to ACO editorial (Spanish and English):
http://www.proaves.org/IMG/pdf...
http://www.proaves.org/IMG/pdf...

Cadena response to ProAves response:
http://evodiversidad.blogspot....

Daniel Cadena (for his part, one of the ACO editorial authors) in his blog and ProAves have both sensibly expressed a desire to draw a line under this and move on. ProAves repears that call here. It would be nice if people now did that. Everyone (that means not just the people that one disagrees with) can learn several obvious lessons about how not to go about during collaborative research work from this episode. However, certain members of this discussion group are repeating the mistakes of the original urraoensis and fenwickorum teams in using their communications for maximum insult and antagonism rather than for constructive discussion and reconciliation. It should be regarded as a minimum for decent human behaviour that professionally educated people deal with one another in a cordial and professional fashion based on facts, even if they disagree with one another. The spreading of false rumours, insults and false attributions on discussion forums should not be encouraged.
-
There ends ProAves' statements. Biomap is not a ProAves project, but a collaboration between museums. I have though been reliably informed that there are over 350 registered users of Biomap from a range of different institutions in Colombia and abroad. People who want to use the database, which is freely available and accessible online, should simply as users: www.biomap.net.
-
Finally, given that the responsibility of sending this email has fallen on me, and because I have more mixed feelings about this that many people at ProAves, I must make some personal comments /disclaimers here.

1. ProAves has taken very tough action in this case and it is understandable that some people disagree with their approach. Given the strength of feeling on this topic, it was probably not prudent for ProAves to have produced its own description in the manner that has happened. I will not defend that decision because I was not involved in, or even aware of, the much-discussed arguments, fieldwork or decision itself or the writing of the MS which was submitted to Conservacion Colombiana (although I did review and provide comments on the submitted MS). The name chosen, nature of the holotype and some of the publicity also appear to have wound certain people up. Taking all those steps in relation to the same description was not, in my view, very prudent. However, those on the other side of this would do well to try and understand why ProAves decided to go ahead with their own description: The first step to preventing this sort of unfortunate situation from happening again is to consider why it arose. ProAves reacted to the Carantón/Certuche team, and those egging them on and leading their 'negotiations', behaving rather poorly. Breach of the terms of research permits in collecting activities, breach of ProAves’ regulations, breach of contract, infringement of intellectual property rights and lack of respect for donors and employer can all be considered a matter of fact, not opinion. Members of the urraoensis team complain about ProAves’ ethics, and they have some fair points: I was brought up to “turn the other cheek” and ProAves did not do that. However, the law sets a baseline for acceptable human behaviour and (unlike ProAves) the urraoensis team have not even met that low standard, never mind some higher ethical standard. The urraoensis team should not be regarded as a cause celebre: quite the contrary. In my own personal view, even though it appears always to have acted lawfully, ProAves should also not be regarded as cause celebre either. It is though most surprising that certain people have jumped in with comments defending the urraoensis team’s behaviour and pointing the finger unilaterally at ProAves with strong language as the party at fault. The situation is far more complex than that. As above, this is a view one formed from (now quite a lot of, almost entirely ex post facto) second hand information and I would refer people again to the editorials for versions of the facts.

2. What is done is done. We should now all draw a line under this and try to get on with life. As a minimum, I would call for dispassionate objectivity, respect and professionalism in discussions on this forum and elsewhere (again, that applies to all sides).

3. This Grallaria episode is a mess, but ProAves is a great organisation doing fantastic conservation work. People should be kinder to it and be proud of the great work it has achieved.

4. Enter axeman, stage left.

Thomas Donegan.
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Old Thursday 17th March 2011, 10:30   #99
Richard Klim
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Red Nacional de Observadores de Aves de Colombia (RNOA)

On NEOORN today...
Quote:
For Immediate Release, to the general public: (spanish version below)

The National Network of Birdwatchers of Colombia (RNOA for its acronym in Spanish), is an organization that groups 21 non-governmental, regional and national organizations as well as university student groups working and studying wild birds and their habitats in Colombia. The philosophy that drives the RNOA is based on fair and equal participation of all its members. Therefore RNOA welcomes any institution that shares our goals and principles, and our passion for the study, appreciation and conservation of birds. Thanks to the commitment of its members with biodiversity and bird conservation in Colombia, in 2000 we formulated through a participatory exercise the National Strategy for the Conservation of Birds in Colombia. This document has guided actions as significant as the designation of almost 200 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in the national territory. The Red Data Book of Birds of Colombia, published in 2002, was also the result of a participatory process in which many ornithologists and birdwatchers throughout the country contributed their records and knowledge. A second edition of this book also developed with the participation of the Colombian ornithological community is currently in preparation.

Over the last ten years, we have made important achievements in both the field of ornithology and science and conservation in general. These achievements are increasing the awareness of the public and building local capacities for the study and conservation of birds. RNOA, its member organizations and active sectors of Colombian civil society have been actively engaged in ornithology-centred activities over the last 20 years, using birds as tools for the conservation of ecosystems and biodiversity as a whole.

For all of these reasons, and given the unfortunate events related with the description in 2010 of a new species of the genus Grallaria, including the recent and biased sequence of messages and publications that have circulated in national and international media in relation to them, the board of directors of the RNOA informs that:
  1. RNOA unconditionally supports the position of the Colombian Association of Ornithology (Asociación Colombiana de Ornitología-ACO, a member of RNOA), regarding the nomination of Grallaria urraoensis as a new species, according to the editorial published in the peer reviewed electronic journal Ornitologia Colombiana
    http://www.ornitologiacolombiana.org...c9.htm#English

  2. RNOA does not support illegal activities, any actions that compromise the ethics of ornithological research, nor anything that threatens the dignity and honor of people and their rights. In consequence, RNOA does not support the unethical behavior of Fundación ProAves, an institution that has been questioned on previous occasions for their methods. In this case, they have distorted the situation by pointing fingers at the biologist, Diego
 Carantón, a young ornithologist that had every right to publish his discovery of a new species of Grallaria. We respectfully remind the
 community that moral rights are indispensable, inalienable, and indefeasible 
principles that have been flagrantly violated by ProAves in this situation.

  3. Regarding John Burton of the World Land Trust’s comment in their publication, the Green Diary, defending Fundación Proaves by slandering the flawless work of Professor Gary Stiles as irresponsible. RNOA categorically refutes this accusation against of the character of Professor Stiles.

    Professor Gary Stiles has played a very important role in Neotropical ornithology, not only through his direct scientific contributions, but also by mentoring and inspiring several generations of ornithologists in Central and South America. His research has been fundamental to the success of several conservation initiatives, including the establishment of the conservation corridor connecting Braulio Carrillo National Park with La Selva Biological Reserve in Costa Rica. In Colombia his research supported the establishment of the Chiribiquete National Park (3162914.8 acres) and the Yaigojé-Apaporis National Park (2619288.8 acres). His life is an example of professionalism, ethics, and commitment to science and biodiversity conservation. To defame his professionalism and integrity is an affront to Colombian ornithology as well as Professor Stiles’ colleagues around the world.

  4. RNOA is a participatory, collegiate body that furthers the development of Ornithology in Colombia. It reflects the collective, serious and committed work and experience of its members throughout the country for over 20 years. Our work has enabled Colombian Ornithology to grow and gain the knowledge necessary to ensure the conservation of birds in our territory.

  5. RNOA demands the respect deserved by the Colombian ornithological community and requests that, in the future, its opinion be taken into account before making accusations that put into question the integrity of any of its members. We sincerely hope that future conservation actions undertaken by Fundación ProAves, which we acknowledge and appreciate, will be developed according to ethical principles and through an open dialogue with Colombian Ornithologists.
Sincerely,

RNOA Board of Directors
http://www.rnoa.org/rnoa.htm

Comunicado a la Opinión Pública

La Red Nacional de Observadores de Aves de Colombia – RNOA, es una organización participativa que agremia a 21 organizaciones no gubernamentales, regionales y nacionales, así como grupos de estudiantes dedicados al estudio y la conservación de las aves y sus hábitats en Colombia. Por su filosofía participativa, la RNOA acoge a instituciones y grupos que compartan su misión y metas, así como la pasión por el estudio, apreciación y conservación de las aves. Algunos ejemplos del compromiso de sus miembros para garantizar la conservación de la biodiversidad y las aves en Colombia incluye la elaboración de la Estrategia Nacional para la Conservación de las Aves de Colombia, creada en el año 2000, documento que se considera como la guía para las acciones de conservación de las aves en el país o la declaración de casi 200 Áreas Importantes para Aves (IBA). La elaboración del Libro Rojo de Aves de Colombia publicado en 2002, fue un proceso participativo en el que muchos ornitólogos y observadores de aves de todo el país se involucraron; en este momento una segunda edición del Libro rojo se está preparando también con la activa participación de la comunidad ornitológica de Colombia. En los últimos años, ha habido varios pasos positivos por parte de la comunidad ornitológica. Entre estos estan el incrementar la conciencia de la sociedad civil hacia la conservación de las aves, incrementar los esfuerzos locales y la construcción de capacidades en pro del estudio y la conservación de las aves y los ecosistemas donde viven. La sociedad civil, la RNOA y sus organizaciones han participado activamente en actividades centradas en la ornitología en los últimos 20 años, trabajando con las aves como herramienta para la conservación de los ecosistemas y la biodiversidad en general.

Por esta razón, y considerando los hechos lamentables que se han presentado en el último año y la reciente secuencia de mensajes y esfuerzos por desdibujar la realidad en el caso de la descripción de una nueva especie del género Grallaria, la RNOA se permite informar a la opinión pública que:
  1. La RNOA apoya de manera irrestricta la posición de la Asociación Colombiana de Ornitología – ACO (uno de sus miembros) – con respecto a la nominación de Grallaria urraoensis, publicada en el editorial correspondiente al número 9 de su revista electrónica Ornitología Colombiana http://www.ornitologiacolombiana.org...aeditoroc9.htm

  2. La RNOA no apoya acciones ilegales, ni acciones que atenten contra la ética de la investigación ornitológica, o contra la dignidad y buen nombre de las personas y sus derechos. Por esta razón, no apoya el comportamiento antiético de la Fundación ProAves, una institución que ha sido cuestionada en oportunidades anteriores por los procedimientos a los que recurre para lograr sus resultados y que en este caso ha querido distorsionar la situación señalando al biólogo Diego Carantón, un joven ornitólogo que tenía todo el derecho a publicar el hallazgo de una nueva especie descubierta por él. Recordamos a toda la comunidad que los derechos morales son: irrenunciables, inalienables, imprescriptibles e inembargables; principios que ha violado flagrantemente la organización ProAves en esta situación.

  3. De igual forma, elevamos nuestra voz de protesta y rechazamos de forma categórica el trato irrespetuoso dado al profesor Gary Stiles respecto al editorial irresponsable y mal informado, escrito por el señor John Burton en el Green Diary del World Land Trust. En este editorial, John Burton, para defender a Proaves, desacredita el trabajo intachable del profesor Stiles. El profesor Stiles ha jugado un papel muy importante en el desarrollo de la ornitología Neotropical con sus aportes científicos y su contribución a la formación de ornitólogos en Centro y Suramérica. Su papel como investigador ha sido además fundamental en el éxito de importantes iniciativas de conservación como el establecimiento de la zona protectora que conectó el Parque Nacional Braulio Carrillo con la Estación Biológica La Selva en Costa Rica. En Colombia sus investigaciones han sido importantes en el establecimiento de áreas protegidas como por el Parque Nacional Natural Chiribiquete (1’280.000 hectáreas) y el Parque Nacional Natural Yaigojé-Apaporis (1’060.000 hectáreas). Su vida ha sido ejemplo de profesionalismo, ética y compromiso con el desarrollo de la ciencia y la conservación de la biodiversidad. Poner en duda el profesionalismo y la ética del Profesor Stiles ofende a la comunidad ornitológica y conservacionista colombiana y, seguramente, a muchos de sus colegas alrededor del mundo.

  4. La RNOA, como ente colegiado y ejemplo vivo de lo que representa un ejercicio de construcción participativa de la ornitología y conservación de la biodiversidad en Colombia, exige respeto para todos las organizaciones que la conforman y respalda el trabajo ornitológico serio y comprometido que desde hace décadas vienen haciendo organizaciones e individuos en diferentes partes del país. Este proceso nos ha permitido crecer como nación en el conocimiento, identificando mejores acciones que aseguren la conservación de las aves en nuestro territorio. La RNOA aboga por que las acciones de conservación de ProAves, las cuales apreciamos, vayan de la mano con un accionar ético y a la vez propendan al diálogo con el gremio de ornitólogos colombianos.
Atentamente,
Junta Directiva RNOA
http://www.rnoa.org/rnoa.htm

Last edited by Richard Klim : Thursday 17th March 2011 at 11:41.
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Old Thursday 17th March 2011, 20:28   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Klim View Post
On NEOORN today...
I was hoping this soap would end with the IMHO good and honest mail of Thomas but it is getting ridiculous now:

"2.RNOA does not support illegal activities, any actions that compromise the ethics of ornithological research, nor anything that threatens the dignity and honor of people and their rights. In consequence, RNOA does not support the unethical behavior of Fundación ProAves, an institution that has been questioned on previous occasions for their methods."

But what about the illegal collecting of the birds itself?

Out of interest I have followed this thread and others about birding in Columbia (have just been there and hope to return soon) and the one question I have, after reading all of it, is why did Mr Cantona decide to keep his discovery a secret from the very start? If you do not want to cooperate with an organisation, then why work for it?

regards,

Pierre
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