birding-aus Collecting

To: "" <>
Subject: birding-aus Collecting
From: Phil Gregory <>
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 1999 14:53:12 +1000

The posting from Gunnar Engblom in Peru opens another ethical avenue for
discussion i. e. collecting (shooting/killing) new taxa. I understand
that in the era of DNA analysis samples are important, so maybe some
blood and even a few feathers, plus photos, should suffice? Perhaps the
members of this expedition are going to do just this? Somehow I think
not, but I'd be happy to be wrong.

I have problems with killing birds for specimens, though I am aware that
the US has many strong advocates for this. I have facilitated it myself
with a possible new berrypecker in PNG, and also some strange
Pygmy-parrots there, but I now regret my actions.
Examples that come to mind include the collecting of a number of
specimens of the Poo- uli from Hawaii when it was first discovered a few
years back. It was clearly a critically endangered restricted range
species, but this made no difference, specimens had to be taken. I heard
the other day that about 3 birds now survive in the wild . Another one
that annoyed the hell out of me was the shooting of the first N.
American Lesser White-fronted Goose on one of their northern islands (
?Attu). Why ? To prove it had occurred, despite photos and field
descriptions a specimen was seen as necessary. To justify this, it was
of course a lost vagrant and would not have bred anyway, so it was OK to
kill it........!
Incidentally, is it really just US$5 to participate in the expedition
for the new ant-pitta?
Happy birding
Phil Gregory

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