"....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
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Cornell's final summary for the previous search season has now been posted (pdf) at their site here. Unfortunately, thus far I've not been able to get the pdf to open beyond the first few pages on my Mac; have tried both Firefox and Safari browsers (don't know if this is a general problem or specific to my computer?).
Finally managed to fully open the summary report --- for those who are having the same problem I had, the suggestion of a reader (thanks!) worked: instead of directly opening the pdf from Cornell's site in a browser, download it to your desktop and then open the file with Adobe.
Of course much of the basic information in the summary has been previously available in some form, although a lot more detail given here; and also of course, nothing newly definitive to report regarding Ivory-bill presence in the Arkansas Big Woods. A total of 24 "encounters" of some significance reported for the search season, 13 of these purely acoustic and 11 visual (2 of the visual encounters were considered rather more significant than others, but still nothing conclusive). 18 of the encounters involved individuals associated with Cornell while 6 came from the general public, and most were in the vicinity of the White River WMA, with only a few from Bayou de View (the area of initial interest); the brevity of the majority of encounters once again making conclusions difficult. The White River and Wattensaw areas are among those that will continue to be focussed on in the upcoming search season.
Another section of the report summarizes the findings of Cornell's 4-man Mobile Search Team that surveyed several areas throughout the Southeast. The Congaree (S.C.), Pascagoula (MS.), and Escambia (FL.) areas were among those rated to have the best potential habitat for Ivory-billed Woodpeckers, but several other areas will get a second-look as well (the team had no sightings, by the way).
The report ends with a section on much of the specialized equipment used in (and sometimes specifically developed for) the search.
There are always things one can quibble about with such reports, but overall a nice summary of efforts to date --- nothing contained therein will much impress skeptics, but enough there to maintain the convictions of others that such efforts are worth continuing. Indeed, what is really needed are similarly expansive reports from a half-dozen or more other key locales through the South to have something much more meaningful than these lone summaries from Big Woods and at some point Choctawhatchee.
And a new search season is almost upon us.