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IVORY-BILLS  LiVE???!  ...

=> THE blog devoted to news and commentary on the most iconic bird in American ornithology, the Ivory-billed Woodpecker (IBWO)... and... sometimes other schtuff.
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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

 

-- More of Same From Cornell --

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Updates from Cornell have long taken on a tendency of divulging little new or encouraging information that was not already previously released. And such is unfortunately true of their preliminary report for the '06-07 season. Other than saying they will search further next year, very little in the way of encouragement here. Nothing positive to report thus far from all of the automatic cameras currently in place. A lot of emphasis continues to be put on the acoustic data ('kents' and double-knocks) --- as I've previously said, interesting but weak data upon which to build a case; certainly worth following up on, but, by itself, never diagnostic. Meanwhile, quite oddly, not a single team member sighting for the season is even mentioned in the report (do they regard none as credible?). Only the early season IBWO encounter claimed by a hunter in Wattensaw is briefly referenced. I assume their final report, whenever issued, will include several more details, but no greater weight of evidence.

Clearly,
in addition to Arkansas' Big Woods, Cornell does find much habitat of interest and worth further study. Key searcher Martjan Lammertink concludes, “We are encouraged by the good habitat we have found. I’d like to spend more time in the Atchafalaya basin, in the Pascagoula in Mississippi, parts of South Carolina, and in the Escambia, Apalachicola, and other rivers of the Florida Panhandle” (all, places already known to be of interest). Lammertink mentions being "impressed with the sheer size of the Atchafalaya basin in Louisiana," and being "awed by the quality of the habitat" in the Congaree (S.C.) --- frankly, it's a bit disconcerting that Lammertink, who virtually proclaimed the Ivory-bill extinct in the 1990's and is considered an expert on the species, suddenly is impressed with habitats that were there all along and referenced frequently in the past for their IBWO potential. Where's he (and a lot of other folks) been all this time, and if his judgment was faulty in the 90's might it still be wrong? How many locales of interest were totally bypassed given his mobile team's limited time in the field? There continues to be no mention of central or south Florida, nor several other areas that may be worth a serious look-see. Instead, just continued emphasis on the Congaree, where I suspect Cornell/FWS may shift much of their attention next year.

Long ago
I wrote I'd be amazed if an independent searcher accomplished what institution-based searchers, with their money, resources, and numbers, have failed to do (and document the Ivory-bill)... but... I'm beginning to wonder... In the meantime, other summary reports should be forthcoming through the summer. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Comments:
interesting. i hope that this independent birder has luck.


http://warrendithrows.blogspot.com/
 
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