"....The truth is out there."
-- Dr. Jerome Jackson, 2002 (... & Agent Fox Mulder)
“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
"All truth passes through 3 stages: First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as self-evident."
-- Arthur Schopenhauer
Monday, April 30, 2007
Martjan Lammertink interviewed here, saying Cornell's search of parts of the southeast is over for this season and largely empty-handed of any new evidence for Ivory-bills. He remains impressed with the habitat of the Congaree area (S.C.), where he thinks he may have heard a lone Ivory-bill double-knock, but is unimpressed with the Choctawhatchee region (the Congaree also being one of Bob Russell's top spots for potential IBWOs). Cornell will no doubt release their own official preliminary report of the season at some point.
So far as I know only the Choctawhatchee team is continuing to search well into May of this search season, and Dr. Hill is due for an update-release, if there is any news worth updating.
Reminder that the ACONE automatic camera system in Big Woods is due for a new release tomorrow as well, but seems likely there will be no Ivory-bill photos/video out of this season.
The headline on this post is a little misleading, since the report only applies to the mobile search team, not to the Arkansas search, which is probably ending today as well and which seems to have been conducted with as much secrecy this year as last.
I'm surprised that Lammertink would speak so disparagingly about the Choctawhatchee and, by implication, Geoff Hill in a newspaper interview.
As far as any other quotes, I would simply caution that journalistic quotes are often incomplete and out-of-context and so can be misleading (I'm not saying these quotes are misleading, just that without more firsthand knowledge one can never know for sure).
If there were really multiple pairs (not to mention a population of at least 9 pairs) as apparently claimed, then the expanded effort should have nailed the indisduptable photograph by now.
Today, if we are being truly keept up to date with the findings, there is still no solid evidence of even one pair (some would say no good evidence of even one individual). For what it is worth, it seems the Florida situation and the Arkansas situation are turning out to be almost exactly the same (except that Arkansas has a bad video and Florida has a worse video, or two).
There is an emerging pattern where suggestive reports fail to result in anything more substantive (like the Pearl in 1999 too). We still don't know what is/are making the "kent-like" sounds at any of these sites that have been recorded except that they resemble Singer Tract calls that could be given by Blue Jays in Arkansas or don't sound like Singer Tract calls in Florida but don't match anything else presently known either. From what I have seen, no one has observed anything other than Pileateds or other common species foraging on "intersting sign" or entering/leaving "interesting cavities."
Makes one wonder what is going on, if not mass hysteria by otherwise serious scientists. Two explanations come to mind (1) they were never there to begin with or (2) this is a very, very rare species that ranges widely and for which there is no way until an indivudal is closely watched to distinguish "interesting sign" from more common species.
If the former, then of course no reason to continue. If the latter, the search should continue (to a point anyway) but with the realization that the chances of seeing one and getting a decent photograph is as slim as it gets (apparently slimmer than getting footage of snow leopards hunting) without finding THE cavity.
truly the 'pattern' doesn't look good, but if we are dealing with needles in haystacks there remain many haystacks yet to sift through; it only 'seems' like a lot of area has been searched thus far.
It seems far more likely that "9 pairs" is some number that was bandied about among those in the group as a whole (Auburn/U. Windsor). Far from a "mathematical extrapolation," it was a guess, and a bad one at that, like everything else that has emerged from Arkansas and Florida.
What I am sure of is that the ivorybills are there. Not one bird. Not a single pair. At least a half dozen pairs and perhaps tens of pairs of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers in the extensive swamp forests along the Choctawhatchee River
Yes, he NEVER said nine pairs. He said AT LEAST six and maybe TENS of pairs.
"...First, I still think there is at least one pair on the west side of the river at Bruce Creek and one pair across the river along Carlisle Lakes. Then I'd say a pair at Cow Lake, two pairs in that vast forest along the channel we paddled yesterday, a pair at Lost Lake near Tilley Landing, a pair in the Reason's Lake area, a pair on Cowford Island, and a pair around Horseshoe Bend. That's nine pairs, and I'd say we've glimpsed less than 25% of this swamp..."
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