[Taxacom] more dead bodies...

Scott Thomson scott.thomson321 at gmail.com
Tue Oct 20 16:11:38 CDT 2015


Based on my reading of this as it came up, I mostly saw and have commented
on it in various posts in the social media, I also agree with this
collection. A population of 1500-4000 in the Solomons is fairly good, I
have no information to refute that population estimate.

Its not that I would go out and randomly kill for science either, and agree
that is a bad way of putting it, but some collection is necessary and I
think with this species it was. First up it was represented by two
specimens both female, at least one presumably a type, if not both. Birds
are renowned for and generally described on the basis of their sexual
dimorphism, usually with males. Also in vertebrate phylogenies it is
expected that molecular data is included these days, this would mean to get
it from this species would require destructive sampling of probably types
that were probably preserved with arsenic or similar, I do not know, so
your chances are you will get fragmentary mtDNA at best. So a fresh
specimen is a good idea. That it is a male is very useful for morphology.

In 1997 I demonstrated that a fossil species from Riversleigh was the same
species as the living taxon still occurring nearby, which was an
undescribed species. Hence we ended up with the living species Elseya
lavarackorum whose holotype is a fossil. How do people think I compared a
living species, virtually unknown to science, to a piece of rock?

I think it is a case by case basis, sometimes it is not justified, but as
long as a scientist puts forth a reasoned and reasonable argument for doing
it I will support them.

I think as far as a bad name for us, people need to understand better, and
on the social media explosians I saw many who initially exploded calmed
down and saw the other point of view once it was explained. Not all but not
everyone is going to agree with everything anyone does, such is life.

Cheers, Scott

On Tue, Oct 20, 2015 at 6:07 PM, Gustavo S. Libardi <gslibardi at gmail.com>
wrote:

> Just making a point: I agree with Filardi and, as Francisco, belong to
> those who have serious concerns to killing rare animals for scientific
> purposes. I mean: things aren't mutually excludent.
>
> Fillardi made a very detailed explanation of the situation on his article
> (link from Orscar's message), if one considers there was previous demand of
> such thing.
>
> Of course, we have to deal with fallacies every single day in science.
> Nevertheless we must not be afraid to assume the results of thousands
> scientific studies that used specimens of scientific collections to produce
> a very distinctive view of the biodiversity since Linnaeus. If a mining
> company use this kind of argument (if an expert can kill a bird, we also
> should be able to do it!), well, we must be very prepared to demonstrate
> that both activities are very, very different...
>
> To reduce the scientific collection of specimens as nothing more as
> "killing individuals" is a misleading point of view.
>
> 2015-10-20 16:46 GMT-03:00 Francisco Welter-Schultes <fwelter at gwdg.de>:
>
> > I do not agree with Filardi and belong to those who have serious concerns
> > to killig rare animals for purposes of scientific study.
> > I do not kill new species of terrestrial molluscs if I know they could be
> > rare. The estimation of 1500 or 4000 birds is somewhat speculative and
> > seems not be based on reliable results of a scientific study.
> >
> > It is also the global reputation of science that suffers. As zoologists
> we
> > are widely recognised as experts, since we know more about these animals
> > than most people do. We carry a special responsibility.
> >
> > Another undesired effect is that country authorities may enhance
> > difficulties for scientific work in the last remaining reserves of
> nature,
> > if more pressure is coming up to take such decisions. Field research is
> > confronted with increasing problems.
> >
> > Mining companies who like to destroy nature could easily argue that the
> > birds cannot be so rare if even experts kill them. It is usually those
> guys
> > who have good contact to governments, not the scientists who could
> correct
> > such arguments and explain them the details.
> >
> > Francisco
> > University of Goettingen, Germany
> >
> >
> > Am 20.10.2015 um 16:58 schrieb Oscar Vargas:
> >
> >> I agree with you Michael,
> >>
> >> And, as a community we should show our support with Filardi. I am
> >> starting a hashtag in twitter #IstandwithFilardi, please join to the
> >> support and try to explain the public the importance of museum
> specimens in
> >> research and conservation.
> >>
> >> Please share Filardi’s article in social media
> >>
> >> https://www.audubon.org/news/why-i-collected-moustached-kingfisher
> >>
> >> If interested in re-tweeting my post:
> >>
> >> https://twitter.com/Oscarmvargash/status/656484193359171584
> >>
> >> Oscar
> >>
> >> ____________________________
> >> Oscar Vargas
> >> PhD Candidate
> >> Graduate Program in Plant Biology
> >> Integrative Biology, Stop C0930
> >> 205 W 24th Street
> >> The University of Texas at Austin
> >> Austin, TX 78712
> >> http://www.oscarmvargas.com/
> >>
> >> On Oct 20, 2015, at 2:34 AM, Michael Heads <m.j.heads at gmail.com> wrote:
> >>
> >> Researcher for NY museum kills rare bird in name of science
> >>> <
> >>>
> http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/researcher-ny-museum-kills-rare-bird-science-article-1.2394167
> >>> >*,
> >>> draws outrage from PETA*
> >>>
> www.nydailynews.com/.../researcher-ny-museum-kills-rare-bird-science-art.
> >>> ..
> >>> Oct 12, 2015 - *Christopher Filardi*, Director of Pacific Programs at
> the
> >>> American ... New York-based scientist *Christopher Filardi* after he
> >>> discovered the...
> >>>
> >>> Poor Chris Filardi is getting the witch-hunt treatment for daring to
> >>> collect a specimen. I saw the story first in the UK media, and this
> >>> anti-collecting hysteria is also spreading in other countries. CF's
> work
> >>> is
> >>> first-rate and I quoted it several times in my last book, e.g. : 'the
> >>> Solomon Islands have more endemic bird species than any other area of
> >>> similar size in the world (Filardi and Smith, 2005)'. We should be
> >>> supporting his  work, not stamping it out.
> >>>
> >>> Michael Heads
> >>>
> >>> --
> >>> Dunedin, New Zealand.
> >>>
> >>> My books:
> >>>
> >>> Craw, R., J. Grehan, M. Heads. 1999. *Panbiogeography: Tracking the
> >>> history
> >>> of life*. Oxford University Press, New York.
> >>> http://books.google.co.nz/books?id=Bm0_QQ3Z6GUC
> >>> <
> >>>
> http://books.google.co.nz/books?id=Bm0_QQ3Z6GUC&dq=panbiogeography&source=gbs_navlinks_s
> >>> >
> >>>
> >>> Heads, M. 2012.* Molecular panbiogeography of the tropics. *University
> of
> >>> California Press, Berkeley.
> www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520271968
> >>>
> >>> Heads, M. 2014.* Biogeography of Australasia:  A molecular analysis*.
> >>> Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. www.cambridge.org/9781107041028
> >>> _______________________________________________
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> >
>
>
>
> --
> |MSc. Gustavo Simões Libardi - "Napister"
> |Biólogo e Mestre em Ciências (Universidade de São Paulo/Brasil)
> |Becário Latinoamericano de Doctorado - CONICET/Argentina
> |Grupo de Estudio de Mamíferos Australes - Centro Nacional Patagónico
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>
>
>
>
>
> *"Tão grandes os empecilhos que a gigantesca e abundante mata virgem
> apresenta contra sua destruição, e uma população ignorante, sem compreensão
> de seu próprio interesse, conseguiu destruí-la completamente em uma parte
> significante de sua extensão original." Peter W. Lund, 1837, em Lagoa
> Santa, MG.*
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>



-- 
Scott Thomson
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