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Banggai Crow rediscovered (1 Viewer)

John Cantelo

Well-known member
Depressingly, the article mentions that a scientist (evidently not the person who 'collected them) "studied the two century-old specimens, housed at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, and compared them to the new specimens ........ (my emphasis). Not feathers or blood, but specimens.

So, lets get this right, someone finds a species long thought to be extinct and not seen since 1900 and promptly collects a couple (or more?). I've no idea what proportion of the surviving population that might represent, but suspect neither do the scientists. I'm not wholly against the 'collection' of birds for science, but in the days of DNA surely taking a couple of feathers would have sufficed given the species' undoubted rarity? I'm just hoping that my assumptions are wrong here, but I fear some attitudes to wildlife research are still marooned somewhere in the 19th century,
 
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Richard Klim

-------------------------
Depressingly, the article mentions that a scientist (evidently not the person who 'collected them) "studied the two century-old specimens, housed at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, and compared them to the new specimens ........ (my emphasis). Not feathers or blood, but specimens.

So, lets get this right, someone finds a species long thought to be extinct and not seen since 1900 and promptly collects a couple (or more?). I've no idea what proportion of the surviving population that might represent, but suspect neither do the scientists. I'm not wholly against the 'collection' of birds for science, but in the days of DNA surely taking a couple of feathers would have sufficed given the species' undoubted rarity? I'm just hoping that my assumptions are wrong here, but I fear some attitudes to wildlife research are still marooned somewhere in the 19th century,
Here we go again...

This subject was recently discussed at length wrt Pycnonotus hualon Bare-faced Bulbul:
http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=151256

Richard
 
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Xenospiza

Distracted
Supporter
Pamela Rasmussen’s views on specimens are well-known anyway – just read the article describing the Bugun Liocichla.
There are far worse troubles for Indonesian birds than a few specimens.

I'm happy to know it really is still there!
 
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Melanie

Well-known member
Pamela C. Rasmussen is one of the world's leading experts in identifying bird specimens (her most famous case was the Forest Owlet). The main work was done by Mohamad Indrawan in 2007/2008 who photographed the first Banggai Crows and estimated the population of about 500 individuals. The problem is that the taxonomic status of the crows on Peleng was not verified and therefor BirdLife hasn't recognized the rediscovery until now. Rasmussen has compared the old museum specimens with the new specimens from Peleng and confirmed that is was really the Banggai Crow which was thought to be lost.
 

Melanie

Well-known member
It would be nice to read a statement by BLI according the rediscovery and the taxonomical work by Pam Rasmussen but i fear that it will be first published in the updated Red List of Threatened birds in May 2010.
 

birdboybowley

Well-known member.....apparently so ;)
Supporter
England
So the 2 specimens that were pointlessly collected (sorry, pointlessly killed) form part of a population of "...no more than 220, maybe less than 30..." (HBW14). Well done scientists, well done
 

Melanie

Well-known member
Less than 30 sounds rather underestimated as Mochamad Indrawan state in his ZGAP account that it might be about 500.
 

birdboybowley

Well-known member.....apparently so ;)
Supporter
England
'Collecting' any birds these days is pointless, especially if it has a low population (even500 is a ridiculously low guestimate). How would people react if a couple of say, Yellowheads (which has a far greater pop of c2500-10000 birds), or Steller's Sea-Eagles (again a healthier pop of still less than 5000) were blasted for the sake of science...? The Banggai Crow is not even a species new to science, but a 'lost' species of which there are already specimens. This is a totally unacceptable practice and without excuse
 

Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
if the removal of two specimens is enough to doom your population (of over 200), than you are doomed anyway.

And without the collection of specimens, there would probably STILL be debate on if these actually were Banggai Crows or not.
 

birdboybowley

Well-known member.....apparently so ;)
Supporter
England
Great attitude there M....why would there still be a debate - what can you glean from a bloody dead bird that you can't get from a live one???????????
 

lewis20126

Well-known member
if the removal of two specimens is enough to doom your population (of over 200), than you are doomed anyway.

So you wouldn't object if someone wanted to collect a couple of California Condors and Whooping Cranes? For scientific research of course.

The truth is we know little about critical population levels and genetic bottlenecks and the precautionary principle should be used in such cases.

Chatham Island Robin? heck it was probably doomed anyway - hang on a minute.....

Kakapo? Don't bother - it probably doomed.

Cheers,
a
 
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birdboybowley

Well-known member.....apparently so ;)
Supporter
England
I was just thinking of those two birds A!! How about Mauritius Kes, Pink Pigeon, Crested Ibis...may as well jus let them go....oh no wait, a concerted conservation effort and NOT killing them and we now have sustainable populations. M's opening statement in his previous post has to be one of the most irresponsible and ridiculous things I've read on BF (and that's saying something!!)
 

Melanie

Well-known member
Don't forget, the Banggai Crow was heavily hunted on Peleng before the rediscovery. Maybe the description of the two newly collected specimens will help that the hunting on this bird on Peleng will stop.
 
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