Environmental Observations

Responsive Ads Here

Friday, August 14, 2009

Collecting Specimens for Science

I am all for scientific progress, particularly when it can be used to further the aims of conservation but a recent article on the discovery of a new species of bulbul in Laos made me wonder if scientists don't need to take a leap into the modern world.

A number of "specimens" were taken from the wild in Laos. Specimens means that birds were captured from the wild and killed to be put in an ornithological collection. The arguement for this is to have something to refer back to in future but with excellent photographical technology, DNA analysis possible from small feather samples it seems to me that the only reason to continue collecting specimens is that this is the way it has always been done. Well, if scientists always went with the way things have always been done very little progress would be made.

You don't need to be a genius to realise that I am not in favour of the killing of these birds, particularly when the population size and distribution is unknown.

The above photograph was taken by Stijn De Win who managed to bring the existence of this bird to the world without killing any of them! Okay, so he didn't manage to record all the biometrics of this bird using this method but photographs of the birds in the hand alongside feather samples would have done just as well as dead birds in my opinion.

I would recommend reading Stijn's report, it is much more readable than the official one: Laos’ Khammouane Bulbul, a new bird species from Laos. -by Stijn De Win / Birding2asia ©


Anonymous said...

If you enjoy alcoholic drinks, there's no much better way when traveling, to reach know a fresh city when compared with a pub crawl. Browsing several institutions within the same nighttime, will give a fascinating go across-area of the city that you simply wouldn't obtain every other way. In addition, you'll earn some new friends. [url=http://www.ss12w12ws.info]Philan4335d[/url]

Anonymous said...

When trying to make a lot of information and facts to memory space, it is almost always easier to prepare the data in chunks or smaller sized units and categories to make the info much easier to bear in mind. As one example, it is actually simpler to keep in mind a phone number as three units of 3, a few, and a number of amounts rather than a very long string of 10 figures. A similar techniques operate when recalling societal protection figures and computer passwords. [url=http://www.xxxw12woo.info]biuy656y[/url]

This blog is purely designed to provide me with a device to moan, groan, gripe and waffle about environmental issues; any interest it may have to others is completely coincidental.