Friday, August 18, 2006

A Note for BirdForum Readers

Welcome to everyone who has clicked through to this site from BirdForum.

The search function is not working perfectly right now, so you may have to dig a bit to find the past posts on tmguy aka thatmagicguy aka William Smith aka William Franks.

We should probably compile all of the links/posts together in a single post but there is only so much blogging you can do while you're at work...

In the meantime, even if you think that tmguy is telling the truth, that his photos are real, keep this comment (from Bill Pulliam) in mind:

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Bill Pulliam said...
Beyond the fact that The Guppy is bonkers, he also subscribes to a fallacy that some other people over on birdforum have expressed: "They've been doing fine without us, just leave them alone." Even if The Guppy is actually a genius, not a basket case, and real female IBWOs do flawless impressions of decoys stuffed in scrub oaks and allow you to approach to within a few yards to snap a picture, well, what have we got, 12 birds, he says? In an area that once hosted thousands of them at least? By no stretch of even a deranged imagination is this species doing fine. It's clinging by a tattered thread. To paraphrase a slogan from another political battle, Secrecy = Extinction. How many Whooping Cranes would we have now if the location of the 11 surviving individuals had been kept as a personal secret of a couple of fishermen?
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And check out Bill's own blog when you get a chance:

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

"They've been doing fine without us, just leave them alone."

The black-footed ferrets thought to be extinct but rediscovered in Wyoming some 20+ years ago were, in fact, doing very well on their own. The researchers, well-intentioned, had a dog with them that ultimately transmitted distemper to the ferrets. I wouldn't label it a fallacy to conclude that the ferrets were doing well on their own.

Tom Archdeacon said...

A species with a single population is not a species that is doing fine. A single catastrophic event, human-caused or otherwise, could extirpate the species. Hedges against extinction are having many individuals and being a widespread species.

Anonymous said...

Did you note the phrase "without us"? We humans can certainly benefit an endangered species, but note also the glaring ratio of successes versus failures. And in the IBWO case, specifically, if any remain at all it would be in spite of us, not because of us.

Anonymous said...

And Tom, I didn't write the preceding remarks to berate you (sorry if they sounded cheeky). Your point is well taken. If someone was hurling insults at you and calling your home phone in the middle of the night and inciting others to do the same, I would also defend an innocent phrase or and an innocuous position of yours. Anyone can recognize that the recent comments on this blog have nothing to do with IBWO and everything to do with simply picking a fight.

Tom Archdeacon said...

What is the success rate of species that have been left to their own?

Anonymous said...

"What is the success rate of species that have been left to their own?"

Before we destroyed their environment or killed them ourselves, or after we decided to "step in," in essence trying to undo the havoc we created in the first place?

curunir said...

"without us" is not really true. Land has been saved from loggers and developers for some time now and if the IBWO is doing well it's because of the setting aside of more and more habitat even if it's never seen. Every species is pretty much recovering on a case by case basis.