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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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"....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.”

-- Hamlet

"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, December 12, 2007

 

-- Secrecy... Not Likely --

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Not sure if it's because of my prior post or because of some discussion going on over at IBWO Researchers Forum, but a few emailers are asking if IBWOs have already been documented and for their protection, basically, it is being kept secret for now. Little chance of that!

Search agencies recognize how widespread skepticism has become and any conclusive documentation arising will likely be made publicly available as quickly as proper channels allow --- funding, public interest/support, reputations, and any possible salvation of the species, pretty much requires rapid disclosure. That doesn't mean precise locations and all other information would be released, but certainly conclusive photos or film would --- even the prior fear of 100's of clamoring birders traipsing into an area, in retrospect, now seems misplaced (the vast majority of birders lack the backwoods skills, gear/equipment, or even funding and time-off from work, to make extended sojourns to such areas --- still, it only takes a few unthinking or ill-intentioned individuals to ruin a situation for everyone else). So, though skeptics have had a 'chilling effect' on the widespread dissemination of less-than-definitive information, conclusive documentation, if obtained, will likely be released relatively quickly, after review by all pertinent agencies (and for those who have been asking, the Auburn 2007 Choctawhatchee summary will be out in due time, delayed only by certain vagaries of publication, not 'top-secret' findings).

Personally, I'd still look to the Gulf corridor stretching from Florida to Louisiana for the first possible IBWO documentation, but certainly others pin high hopes for an earlier find in Arkansas or South Carolina. An official North Carolina search will likely commence in January in the southeast region of that state for the first time, as well. A lot remains to be done, even with funding and interest fading. Possibly yet, an independent searcher will surprise me and accomplish what those with academic and government resources have thus far failed at, and get the first incontrovertible photo.

Maybe I should end with the final stipulation that though I trust folks I hear from, there's always that remote possibility that I'm misled and indeed something more definitive is going on behind the scenes, undisclosed (especially to bloggers ;-), that I'm unaware of --- but I'd be amaaazed... Put your hopes on the forthcoming season, and not on any extraordinary new disclosure from previous searches.

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From the Web Grab Bag a couple more stories on threatened birds:


http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071210214707.htm

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041130203945.htm

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