We found an interesting article on Surfbird News about if the last Ivory-billed Woodpeckers should be collected for science – meaning killed and preserved as a specimen. The article brings up several points of why this should not be done. Here are two of them:
- Genetic Diversity – in a small population every individual matters in preserving genetic diversity
- Ecotourism – the areas where the birds are found can be draws to birders wishing to see the bird, bringing in loads of cash for habitat conservation of the area
Taking specimens is a thing of the past. Science now accepts new species without specimens so there really is no reason. Collectors hurt the Ivory-bills in the past by greedily trying to add to their “collections” instead of realizing how much more important it would have been to conserve their habitat.
The only Ivory-billed Woodpeckers that should be stuffed
We feel that “collecting” an Ivory-bill would not only be wrong but bad for science (and birding too). We don’t know how many are left (if any), but it is important to remain positive and protect the best lands in which there is still hope.