"Andrew Stafford" <>
Wed, 21 Feb 2007 13:45:29 +1000
Andrew Thelander wrote:
"Wouldn't it be a terrible shame if our commitment to the Coxens fig-parrot
(I believe that less than $100,000 has been spent so far) was dashed because
of scepticism arising from claims over a "fourth" fig-parrot?"
Precisely Andrew. I am a believer in the existence of the Coxen's Fig Parrot
and the one I really feel for in this mess is Ian Gynther, who has worked on
their recovery program for years.
Most of us prefer to look for the best in people and I'd rather not believe
that anyone has attempted to commit a serious forgery - especially someone
with a good name and reputation. However, it has happened before. Doubtless
it will again.
This is not a trivial matter - real money is at stake for real endangered
species, and other reputations besides that of John Young. He (no one else)
is tarnishing his own brand by making grand claims to the media that he now
refuses to substantiate.
For those reasons I don't believe it's up to John to show us the evidence
when he deigns to - in fact, the longer he delays, the worse it looks.
Because this does not, at this point, look like an innocent mistake. If
photos have been tampered with, that is not innocent; that is a serious
fraud - and all of us then would be right to feel shocked and disappointed.
If he's got more photographs and feathers (which he claims to possess),
let's have them, for his sake and the rest of the birding and scientific
community. Not when he deems it appropriate. The appropriate time is
immediately - as I'm quite sure the EPA would agree.
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