Friday, March 12, 2010

Recovery Plan for a Non-Recoverable Species?

I just ran across a couple of remarkable quotes from an article by John Beetham at A DC Birding Blog about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s plans to release a final recovery plan for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker. Beetham included several paragraphs from a limited-access article by Rex Dalton that was posted at Nature News, which is where the following selected quotes originally appeared:
"We don’t believe a recoverable population of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers exists," says Ron Rohrbaugh, a conservation biologist at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, who headed the original search team.
Followed, two paragraphs later, by this:
Jerome Jackson, an ornithologist at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers who serves on the FWS’s Ivory-billed Woodpecker recovery team, says that a draft recovery plan from 2007 is "incredibly biased". In his view, the plan has overemphasized evidence of the bird’s existence to shore up political support for saving it. "I don’t think I’m going to be happy with the final plan either," he adds.
I find it rather remarkable that the FWS is still pursuing finalization of this recovery plan given the sorry state of the U.S. economy, the Federal budget, and Ivory-bill populations.



Blogger Bill Benish said...

Hi John,

Some people are probably not aware that Ron Rohrbaugh posted a follow-up comment on that Nature article to elaborate upon and clarify Cornell's conclusions. Here's an excerpt: It is possible that a small population of birds exists in heretofore unsearched or under-searched habitats.

The full comment is available at this link:

March 12, 2010 1:22 PM  
Blogger John L. Trapp said...

Thanks, Bill. I appreciate that additional information, though it's still not a very ringing endorsement.

March 12, 2010 3:48 PM  

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