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New Capito barbet (1 Viewer)

birdboybowley

Well-known member.....apparently so ;)
Supporter
England
Well you gotta be sure......scientists' brains are just wired up different. Didn't read any further, it was like reading a Victorian journal
 

Richard Klim

-------------------------
Collecting

Thanks for posting, Andy. Collecting has been the subject of lengthy and impassioned discussions on BirdForum. For what it's worth, I definitely support the continued collection of specimens of newly discovered taxa of any kingdom – although these days I seem to be in a minority of recreational birders on this side of the pond who do so.

Richard
 
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Kratter

Well-known member
Well you gotta be sure......scientists' brains are just wired up different. Didn't read any further, it was like reading a Victorian journal

If you don't like the methods of museum science (or the resulting advances in bird biology, bird identification, field guide illustration, biogeography, or bird conservation for that matter), then I would recommend you keep your ill-informed opinions to yourself or stay away from the taxonomy forum.
 

antshrike69

Well-known member
The subject of collecting might be contentious, but I am uneasy about the need for a long series of specimens when there has not yet been the opportunity to investigate the ecology of this 'new' bird. Evern if the species is common at the second site, how might this translate into total population for such a localised bird? Were the birds breeding? If so, collecting 8 birds might lead to multiple failed nests etc etc.
 

birdboybowley

Well-known member.....apparently so ;)
Supporter
England
If you don't like the methods of museum science (or the resulting advances in bird biology, bird identification, field guide illustration, biogeography, or bird conservation for that matter), then I would recommend you keep your ill-informed opinions to yourself or stay away from the taxonomy forum.

The whole point of a forum os to have differing views - and I'll post mine thankyou very much. I don't agree with it - it's needless and pointless. Ill-informed? Hardly. If you don't agree with it, that's fine, but please don't come on here and tell me where to go - or I may find myself telling you just that
 

Kratter

Well-known member
The subject of collecting might be contentious, but I am uneasy about the need for a long series of specimens when there has not yet been the opportunity to investigate the ecology of this 'new' bird. Evern if the species is common at the second site, how might this translate into total population for such a localised bird? Were the birds breeding? If so, collecting 8 birds might lead to multiple failed nests etc etc.

Why are the the discoverers of this remarkable bird immediately cast as villains? I belong to the community of museum scientists and none of us would want to collect to the point of harming a population. The Cornell team, and they alone, know what the population status is at their sites.

Playing around in Google Earth, it looks like the highland of the southern Cerros de Sira is about 40 km long x 10 km wide, or 400 km2. All of it is completely intact cloud forest from the images. If the species is common as reported (Capito wallacei in the Cordillera Azul was very common, so that may be expected), a population density of 10/ km2 would not be unreasonable, and a population of 4000 individuals would result. Collecting eight birds from this population would have no effects on its stability.
Andy
 

Kratter

Well-known member
The whole point of a forum os to have differing views - and I'll post mine thankyou very much. I don't agree with it - it's needless and pointless. Ill-informed? Hardly. If you don't agree with it, that's fine, but please don't come on here and tell me where to go - or I may find myself telling you just that

My point is that this is a taxonomy forum and nearly everything that is posted here results from research that is conducted by museum scientists, working with mostly recently collected bird specimens (museums did not routinely collect tissue samples until the 1980s, so almost all genetic based taxonomy is based on specimens collected since then). I welcome to hear viewpoints that differ from my opinionated own (I am a hard-core BSC'er for example), but to say that collecting a small series of a common but newly discovered species is needless and pointless is missing the point of this forum , in my opinion.
 

lewis20126

Well-known member
My point is that this is a taxonomy forum and nearly everything that is posted here results from research that is conducted by museum scientists, working with mostly recently collected bird specimens (museums did not routinely collect tissue samples until the 1980s, so almost all genetic based taxonomy is based on specimens collected since then). I welcome to hear viewpoints that differ from my opinionated own (I am a hard-core BSC'er for example), but to say that collecting a small series of a common but newly discovered species is needless and pointless is missing the point of this forum , in my opinion.

As a BSC'er, can you tell me what has been learnt of species limits by collecting long series of Scytalopus?

Thanks, a

alan
 

antshrike69

Well-known member
Why are the the discoverers of this remarkable bird immediately cast as villains?

I'm not sure if this is aimed at me but if it is then you're being overly defensive to put it mildly. At no point have I labelled the researchers 'villains'. I have been involved in similar research efforts in Colombia amongst other places, although have not personally collected netted or observed birds.


Playing around in Google Earth, it looks like the highland of the southern Cerros de Sira is about 40 km long x 10 km wide, or 400 km2. All of it is completely intact cloud forest from the images. If the species is common as reported (Capito wallacei in the Cordillera Azul was very common, so that may be expected), a population density of 10/ km2 would not be unreasonable, and a population of 4000 individuals would result. Collecting eight birds from this population would have no effects on its stability.
Andy

Surely you are making multiple assumptions here. Even apparently 'common' species can be very patchy in occurence, particularly in the neotropics. Whatever the justification for collecting, I am not convinced that sufficient can be learnt of the species' abundance and range in such a short time as to make your statement scientifically definitive. Is the 400km2 all prime habitat or is some edge habitat with low density? Is 10/km2 reasonable? Is it reasonable to extrapolate species abundance from a close relative? Many examples would suggest not. I'm not saying collecting 8 individuals will affect population stability, but certainly don't agree that your statements can be made with such finality either.
 

Richard Klim

-------------------------
Scytalopus

...what has been learnt of species limits by collecting long series of Scytalopus?
Mata et al 2009. Molecular phylogeny and biogeography of the eastern Tapaculos (Aves: Rhinocryptidae: Scytalopus, Eleoscytalopus): Cryptic diversification in Brazilian Atlantic Forest.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...serid=10&md5=0491b704a8f9419002bceaded1d031fe

Maurício et al 2008. Hidden generic diversity in Neotropical birds: Molecular and anatomical data support a new genus for the "Scytalopus" indigoticus species-group (Aves: Rhinocryptidae).
http://evolvert.uniandes.edu.co/EVOLVERT/Publicaciones_files/mpe2008.pdf

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=147427

Richard
 

lewis20126

Well-known member
Mata et al 2009. Molecular phylogeny and biogeography of the eastern Tapaculos (Aves: Rhinocryptidae: Scytalopus, Eleoscytalopus): Cryptic diversification in Brazilian Atlantic Forest.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...serid=10&md5=0491b704a8f9419002bceaded1d031fe

Maurício et al 2008. Hidden generic diversity in Neotropical birds: Molecular and anatomical data support a new genus for the "Scytalopus" indigoticus species-group (Aves: Rhinocryptidae).
http://evolvert.uniandes.edu.co/EVOLVERT/Publicaciones_files/mpe2008.pdf

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=147427

Richard

Thanks but first sentence of first paper abstract states: "Scytalopus and the recently erected Eleoscytalopus are among the Neotropical groups of birds whose taxonomy is most difficult to resolve given their very conservative morphology" . So "DNA" (which surely could be sourced from collections from liove birds) and vocalizations are key aren't they? Am I missing something?

a
 

Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
The problem with getting DNA from living birds and then releasing them is that you don't have a voucher specimen. If something happens to your sample, the prep gets screwed up, newer methods come along or other people want to check your results or your identification of the specimens, their is no way of doing so. Repeatability is the hallmark of science...non vouchering takes that away.
 

lewis20126

Well-known member
The problem with getting DNA from living birds and then releasing them is that you don't have a voucher specimen. If something happens to your sample, the prep gets screwed up, newer methods come along or other people want to check your results or your identification of the specimens, their is no way of doing so. Repeatability is the hallmark of science...non vouchering takes that away.

Take two / three samples/vouchers? Identification of specimens? On Scytalopus? From morphology? Good luck! Its a circular argument because you need the DNA and / or vocalizations (+locale) to identify the specimens!

I'm sure those barbets look nice in the tray - have Cornell traded all bar the type yet?

a
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
I think of myself as someone who has a balanced view of specimen collection. Of relevance to this discussion is the question of who really performs the collecting efforts. My feeling is that the experienced people who have important positions as a University often are formally in charge and probably are present at the start of a field excursion, but that the majority of the work is often done by a group of students lead by a graduate student.

The description of who the people were who collected this particular specimen confirmed that they were all very young (maximum age of 23 was mentioned). Is it really fair to ask us to believe that such a group have the necessary experience to not overdo the collection efforts? Do they have the necessary experience to estimate a world population before doing the collection or are they just being blown out by the excitement of the moment and any population arguments are made later when they have to argue against some of the people making the same arguments as has been forwarded in this thread?

Niels
 

Richard Klim

-------------------------
Scytalopus

Thanks but first sentence of first paper abstract states: "Scytalopus and the recently erected Eleoscytalopus are among the Neotropical groups of birds whose taxonomy is most difficult to resolve given their very conservative morphology". So "DNA" (which surely could be sourced from collections from liove birds) and vocalizations are key aren't they? Am I missing something?
Yes, it would seem so. You asked for some information, and then appear to have arrived at a judgement based upon reading the first sentence of the first of two papers cited. If you'd looked at the second paper (Maurício et al 2008), you'd have seen that it also uses anatomical data, and makes extensive use of anatomical and skin specimens (listed on p134).

Richard
 
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lewis20126

Well-known member
Yes, it would seem so. You asked for some information, and then appear to have arrived at a judgement based upon reading the first sentence of the first of two papers cited. If you'd looked at the second paper (Maurício et al 2008), you'd have seen that it also uses anatomical data, and makes extensive use of anatomical and skin specimens (listed on p134).

Richard

Will review the 2nd paper - I'm must say I'm amazed that Scytalopus sp have (internal?) anatomical differences which rely on specimens and (thus) cannot be determined on living birds. Always something to learn.

a
 

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