Saturday, July 16, 2005

ENV: Disturbing news

I am a skeptic of many things. Before April i would have said i was skeptical of any claims of someone seeing an Ivory-billed Woodpecker. I dealt with too many reports over my lifetime to not be.

So i was somewhat astounded, and also heartwarmingly overjoyed, at the discovery of a bird in Arkansas recently.

Now comes word via the bio backchannel that two professors of note (who were not named, but i trust the person who did the not-naming) are ready to submit for publication a rebuttal of the claims made in this scenario -- that their analysis indicates the bird is a piebald (read that as partial albino) Pileated Woodpecker.

This is liable to cause a major uproar, especially among anti-environmentalists. It may also stall or forfeit recent gains in habitat acquisition in the big woods.

I guess we'll see, but it doesn't bode pretty. I for one, being the anti-skeptic here, can't imagine a consortium of that many pros not crossing every i and dotting every t before announcing the discovery of this unicorn of American birds.

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