In The Name of Science

Friday, December 28, 2018
By Martin Myall

WLD moustached kingfisher OnLChristopher Filard is an investigator at the American Natural History Museum, therefore you could be forgiven for thinking that he must be a bright lad… or not?

You see, Mr Filard came across an example of a rare bird, thought to be extinct: a Moustached Kingfisher. So what did he do? He killed it. Read on.

The reason that he killed it was to prove his theory that there are quite a few hanging around in reality; hundreds of them. He found his specimen in the Solomon Islands.

“Before you could say, “what a pretty birdy,” he had killed it, in the name of science, he says, so that it could be studied more closely and thus save the species from extinction.

Naturally, other scientists in this field have gone boggle eyed at both his action and the reasoning behind it.

However, he defends his action here in his own words: “I have spent time in the remote, and not so remote, forests of the Solomon Islands over nearly 20 years. I have watched whole populations of birds decline and disappear in the wake of poorly managed logging operations and, more recently mining. On this trip, the real discovery was not finding an individual Moustached Kingfisher, but discovering that the world this species inhabits is still thriving in a rich and timeless way.”

(News: Wonky World – First published October 2015)

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