My thoughts on Yahoo’s Article regarding Scientists killing the kingfisher bird.
Here is the article I am talking about.
This story reminds me of the story of Prometheus, a 5 thousand year old Bristlecone pine tree in eastern Nevada that was cut down in 1964 to count it’s tree rings to determine how old it was.
The “scientist” broke his coring tool and was impatient waiting for a replacement, so he asked and was granted permission to “section” the living tree (the oldest single living organism in the world at the time). The remaining stump is a curiosity now in the established Great Basin NP. Now the oldest tree in the world, Metheusela(sp), a 4900 year old Bristlecone pine located in the White mountains of eastern CA, lives in a secret location to protect it from other miscreants who would wish to kill it.
After talking with a 40 year bird watcher, we both came to the conclusion that killing the bird was not productive.
If it took Chris twenty years to see one, they are not that plentiful, but it also means they have no way to accurately estimate the population. This sub specie bird which has been seen three times only, over the last 100 years. Each time, they were females. So this was the first ever male to be seen, photographed or certainly handled.
They could get DNA, feather samples, song and lots of pictures with out destroying the bird. The chief thing they get by killing it, is they put it in a case of drawers called a ‘range’, so students/educators can handle it and do specific feature comparisons.They already know all the internal biology issues from the related more populous bird from a different nearby area.
I suppose it might be prestigious to an ornithologist to have the only one in a range at their museum. Lots of fellow dead-bird analysts want to come to the museum and see it etc.As a bird lover, I think it is a shame.
In far away places, maybe scientists may do this stuff more often. If they did this too the Ivorybilled Woodpecker in Florida, they’d go to jail.
By killing the only one he’s seen in 20 years of searching surely doesn’t help the future prospects of the species. I really hope we aren’t funding his “research”. If this was a rare male, in an area with females, the potential for expansion of the flock just went down the toilet. He needs to include in his findings the effect that anxious, arrogant researchers have had on their population by killing them to find out what has been killing them! What a piece of work!!