[CT Birds] [NOSbird] Purple gallinule
tbaptist47n at gmail.com
Fri Oct 2 00:08:35 EDT 2015
Why not ensure the well-being of this bird? It is obviously injured, and
apparently cannot fly. With cold temperatures arriving soon, doing nothing
will likely lead to its (premature) death. There may be "weak evidence"
that this species's population is in decline, yet science indicates that
its habitat is threatened by wetland destruction and increasing sea levels,
which humankind is mostly responsible for. So, should we take
responsibility for the consequences of human impacts on gallinule habitat?
If yes, then save this bird.
Bluebirds are not especially endangered, but that does not keep me from
building, installing and monitoring bluebird nest boxes to protect their
populations from the continuing assault of habitat loss and invasive
species infestation (i.e. starlings and house sparrows.) Purple gallinules
deserve no less from us.
Scientists provide us valuable insights into nature. Their disposition
toward numbers, rather than heart, should be respected. Yet, our hearts
lend us to believe that good conservation advances in baby steps, such as
mending this bird and returning it to its normal range, and then, of
course, working to protect its habitat.
On Thu, Oct 1, 2015 at 9:21 PM, Chris Elphick via CTBirds <
ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org> wrote:
> Hi Lisa,
> I completely agree that there is much to do in order to address the many
> harms we've inflicted on wildlife. I've spent my entire career trying to
> do that. As I indicated in my original email, there are certainly some
> cases where capture might be appropriate. If it were a whooping crane or a
> black robin, I might feel very differently (though the legal issues there
> would be an order of magnitude more complex!).
> But, this is a species with a large geographic range, a global population
> that is likely in the 100,000s, not known to be declining rangewide (though
> there is weak evidence that hints at a possible decline in the US - but
> it's very weak evidence), and for which habitat loss is unlikely to be a
> major issue. For all these reasons it is ranked as "Least Concern" in
> systematic assessments of the status of the world's bird populations. It
> is also an individual that is far outside its normal range and so unlikely
> to contribute to the population's ability to thrive, and that under normal
> circumstances would have had a high chance of dying anyway (because most
> young birds do ... in fact in the species' I study even adults have a about
> 40-50% chance of dying every year ... not because of anything that humans
> do, but because that is typical in most birds).
> I do totally understand your concerns, and think that they are critically
> important things to worry about. I just don't see any way that capturing
> this bird will address any of them. The solutions to most bird declines
> center around protecting habitat, consuming less, driving less, and so on.
> There are sometimes very good reasons for rehabilitating injured birds, but
> conservation is rarely one of them.
> I hope this helps explain my thinking. And if you continue to disagree,
> that's just fine too :).
> Best wishes,
> Chris Elphick @ssts
> Storrs, CT
> elphick at sbcglobal.net
> From: Lisa White <madalynwhite at aol.com>
> To: Aidan Kiley <eezambo at gmail.com>
> Cc: elphick at sbcglobal.net; Tricia Reid <reidtri at gmail.com>;
> ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org
> Sent: Thursday, October 1, 2015 3:01 PM
> Subject: Re: [CT Birds] [NOSbird] Purple gallinule
> I respectfully disagree. In a perfect world, I think nature taking its
> course would be the right thing. But we don't live in a perfect world. We
> live in a world where bird populations are dramatically declining due to
> our poor stewardship -- habitat loss, global warming, etc. So I think that
> if a bird is truly injured (and perhaps this bird is not), we should always
> help it out if we can.
> Lisa White
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