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 I need to come out of retirement from the practice of law to analyse this
one! If I understand it correctly, some are now arguing that because
Trumpeter Swan formerly existed in Missouri but was believed extirpated from
the state, Trumpeter Swan (1) has full status on the Missouri list, but (2)
Trumpeters seen now are only hypothetical. The presence of brackets around
the letters "WR" on the state checklist is cited.

 Therefore, ergo, a fortiori,  you can't count a Trumpeter in Missouri
unless you saw it in the 19th Century or earlier.

Meanwhile, the Minnesota birds continue to increase and to send
representatives of their population our way each winter, some of which are
probably second or third generation, maybe even fouth generation, feral
birds, but most of which are probably birds released as immatures or of the
first generation born in the wild.

This raises issues that only Philadelphia lawyers and ABA members like to
dispute. Does a species lose its citizenship when it leaves the state
entirely, or does it retain it upon coming back, whatever the means of its
return?

These fine points are now being discussed on a nationaal level in connection
with the Black Francolin, the Crested Myna and the California Condor.

Most seem to agree that Black Francolin, an introduced game bird that
survived a while in Louisiana and Florida, then died out, can now be said
never to have been countable because it did not survive long enough to
become "permanently established." (It is somewhat tautological to say that a
bird which has died out was not "permanently established"). Therefore,
people who counted Black Francolin when they were around should discount
them now.

 The case of the Crested Myna is more difficult. Its population grew into
the thousands and lasted for a century or more before dying out recently.
Absent circular reasoning, it is harder to say it was not established. Some
are arguing that Crested Mynas seen before the demise of the last one must
now be removed from the life list. Others wring their hands in dismay at
such a thought, dig in their heels and refuse to budge.

If the Myna must come off, what about California Condors seen before the
last wild ones were trapped and put in zoos? Does the fact that it was once
a native species present at least since the Pleistocene make it easier to
say it was "permanently established" than in the case of an exotic bird like
Crested Myna, which persisted for barely a century? Some say, if it is
extirpated, it must come off the list. (This gives younger birders a more
level playing field vs old codgers like me). Others argue that if it had
been around for a million or more years when you saw it, it's a keeper.

If you can count wild condors seen way back, what about reintroduced
California Condors seen now?

Most ABA members would count a condor seen before they were trapped and put
into zoos. (They'll never take the ones I saw in 1966 away from me! Never!).
Most ABA members would not count a condor seen in California or Arizona in
2003.

Counting a Trumpeter Swan in Missouri now is somewhat like counting a
California Condor now. Both are reintroducd native species. The difference
is that Trumpeters have had more time to become reestablished than have
condors.

It's only a matter of time before condors and Trumpeters will themselves
resolve the issue by staying around long enough to deserve full status on
the state lists of the states in which they are found.

Has that time arrived for Trumpeters in Missouri (and Minnesota, Nebraska,
Iowa and Kansas)?

All I can say is that I hope the Supreme Court does not deny certiorari!

Bob Fisher
Independence, Missouri
[log in to unmask]
----- Original Message -----
From: "R. Bradley Jacobs" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, July 09, 2003 11:07 AM
Subject: Re: COMAL and swans


> The MO Bird Records Committee has tossed this topic around several times
> to date. As a result of the discussions going on here on MoBirds-l, the
> MBRC will discuss it at the Fall ASM meeting to help resolve the issue.
> The way the MBRC dealt with this in the past is a little complicated,
> but here goes. You will note that the SR* status on the ASM checklist
> indicates that it has been extirpated, and the [WR] is a hypothetical.
> So, simple sightings of birds shouldn't be counted, unless you can
> establish that the individual has been part of a population (either
> restored or natural) for at least 10 years. The only way to do that
> would be to read the neck collar and pursue the provenance of that
> individual and its population's history. This can be done, but it is
> probably not the way to do business anymore. It has become clear that
> Trumpeters are likely here to stay and will continue to expand their
> populations. In fact, I just received a report today of two red-collared
> TSs near Blue Mound. Red collars are Iowa program birds. Several have
> been hanging around in the winter, perhaps they decided to stay through
> the summer, and perhaps they might even have attempted nesting (purely
> speculative on my part.)
> So, the MBRC will attempt to resolve the checklist or listing problem
> for this species in September.
>
> Brad
>
>
> >>> Robert Fisher <[log in to unmask]> 07/08/03 10:02PM >>>
> Trumpeter Swan is on the Missouri Checklist, so it's a countable
> species in
> this state. Alas! It may be necessary to hold your nose while you do
> it,
> because most of the Trumpeter Swans that we see here have not been wild
> for
> more than one generation, if that. If you see a Trumpeter Swan with a
> band
> and/or a neck collar, whether to include it in COMAL is arguable either
> way.
> I don't take COMAL that seriously, so I include them.
>
> Mute Swan is only on the Missouri hypothetical list. Most, if not all,
> Mute
> Swans that show up in Missouri are of domestic origin and probably
> should
> not be counted for COMAL, even if birds on the Missouri hypothetical
> list
> are "countable" for COMAL purposes. (They are not "countable" in
> Missouri
> for ABA purposes). I did once see an unbanded, free flying bird of the
> year
> in late fall at Smithville Lake, which could well have strayed from one
> of
> the feral populations around the Great Lakes. The species is expanding
> its
> range, to the consternation of many. However, I doubt if the MBRC will
> give
> it full status in the near future. It is very difficult to prove that a
> bird
> is from a wild population when there are so many tame ones around. The
> strong presumption is that any Mute Swan seen in Missouri is of
> domestic
> origin.
>
> Bob Fisher
> Independence, Missouri
> [log in to unmask]
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Joshua Uffman" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Tuesday, July 08, 2003 7:11 AM
> Subject: Re: COMAL and swans
>
>
> > I will be the first to plead "guilty" on this.  I have
> > been including Trumpeter Swan in my Comal total.  So
> > when you see my total number at the end of the month
> > you can subtract "1".  I had planned to send my Comal
> > total in for December minus the Trumpeter Swan
> > .....same would apply when I send this in to the ABA.
> > However, when does Trumpeter Swan become countable?
> >
> >
> > Josh Uffman
> > St. Louis County, MO
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > --- Charlene and Jim Malone <[log in to unmask]>
> > wrote:
> > > OK, I'm going to throw out a little something to
> > > chew on..... it's been a
> > > little "slow" on Mobirds.  ;-)
> > >
> > > SO, how are all the COMALers handling the following
> > > species:
> > > Trumpeter and Mute Swans?
> > > Counting them, not counting them or what?
> > >
> > > Just wondering.
> > > Now discuss please. :-)
> > >
> > > Charlene Malone
> > > Chesterfield, MO
> > > [log in to unmask]
> > >
> > > __________________________________________________
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> >
> > =====
> > Joshua Uffman
> > St. Louis County, MO
> > [log in to unmask]
> >
> > __________________________________
> > Do you Yahoo!?
> > SBC Yahoo! DSL - Now only $29.95 per month!
> > http://sbc.yahoo.com
> >
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