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A scientist found a moustached kingfisher and euthanized it.
#1
Quote:A scientist found a ‘ghost’ bird that hadn’t been seen in half a century, then killed it.

For Christopher Filardi of the American Museum of Natural History, there is nothing like the thrill of finding a mysterious species. Such animals live at the intersection of myth and biology — tantalizing researchers with the prospect that they may be real, but eluding trustworthy documentation and closer study. Indeed, last month, Filardi waxed poetic on the hunt for the invisible beasts that nonetheless walk among us.

“We search for them in earnest but they are seemingly beyond detection except by proxy and story,” he wrote. “They are ghosts, until they reveal themselves in a thrilling moment of clarity and then they are gone again. Maybe for another day, maybe a year, maybe a century.”

Filardi was moved because, trolling what he called “the remote highlands” of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands, he had found a bird he had searched more than two decades for: the moustached kingfisher.

“Described by a single female specimen in the 1920s, two more females brought to collectors by local hunters in the early 1950s, and only glimpsed in the wild once,” he wrote. “Scientists have never observed a male. Its voice and habits are poorly known. Given its history of eluding detection, realistic hopes of finding the bird were slim.”

This pretty much guarantees it won't be seen again.
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#2
(10-13-2015, 05:40 PM)WarBicycle Wrote: This pretty much guarantees it won't be seen again.

Maybe not. But I still think it is a waste of a male bird's life, which inhabits a fairly small habitat. He really was one handsome little fellow.

[Image: CPnoA85UwAAVbHp.jpg]

Quote:But — was he right?

Wildlife experts have been debating that question for more than 100 years — ever since they first noticed that the colorful and charismatic species they wanted to document had begun to vanish. The pro-collection camp says that the practice requires the death of only a few individuals and may provide knowledge that helps to ensure the survival of the overall species. The “voucher specimen” — a representative specimen used for studies — is considered the gold standard for documenting a species’ presence: It’s the most definitive way to confirm that an animal exists and serves as the basis for all kinds of research on its health and habitat.

But opponents point out that history is littered with the stuffed and mounted carcasses of animals that were the last of their kind, bagged by overzealous collectors who didn’t stop to consider the cost of the kill. In collecting’s heyday, bagging a rare species was a point of pride for naturalists, and wealthy wildlife lovers amassed taxidermied animals the way another person might accumulate art. Famous scientists like Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace collected and preserved hundreds, thousands, even tens of thousands of specimens — most of which served a vital role in making new species known to science. But collectors, who traveled to the world’s most remote regions in search of as-yet-unknown animals, also had an Indiana Jones-like swagger. Competition to find something first was fierce, and institutions vying for new and exotic specimens meant that dozens of researchers would go tramping up mountains and into jungles to kill the same animal.
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“Socialism always begins with a universal vision for the brotherhood of man and ends with people having to eat their own pets.”
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#3
Here's the guy in question.

[Image: chrisfilardi.jpg]
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“Socialism always begins with a universal vision for the brotherhood of man and ends with people having to eat their own pets.”
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