When scientists make incredible discoveries, they want to hold onto those moments forever. These rare finds don’t roll around often, so when they do, it’s only logical that researchers would want to be recognized for their work.
But the way that Chris Filardi handled his recent scientific discovery is causing a bit of controversy in the field. Filardi is an ornithologist who was researching the whereabouts of a rare bird called the mustached kingfisher. These birds were thought to be extinct years ago, and once Filardi spotted one, he made a decision that has caused an understandable uproar.
Filardi “collected” the bird — which means that he killed it and stuffed it for research.
“Collecting” is an old practice designed to help scientists preserve their discoveries. While using this method today isn’t unheard of, it’s not usually the scientific community’s first choice when it comes to studying endangered animals.
Filardi insists that the bird itself is not rare. Instead, he believes that it’s just not seen by humans that often.
He believes that the population is alive and well, but because sightings are so rare, there’s really no evidence to back up his claim. Basically, his own argument works against him.
There’s merit on both sides of the argument, but I’m pretty sure that most people would take issue with the way he went about studying this bird.
What do you think? Is this an acceptable method of research, or is the practice harmful to a potentially endangered population? Sound off in the comments.