The extinction by 2010 claim is ridiculous on it's face. I don't need to
read the paper to know that. If they made the claim, which I believe thay
did (or NJ Audubon, Del. Audubon, and all the others fabricated the
citation?) then the criticism remains. If they did not make the claim, why
are they allowing all of these groups for the past three years to state that
Do you believe rufa Red Knots will be extinct in less than three years?
The belief that the current empirical data supports the idea that rufa Red
Knots will be extinct by 2010, in less than three years, is ridiculous, and
I have difficulty believing that any competent scientist actually believes
Let me ask you exactly how will rufa Red Knots become extinct in less
than three years? Even in an extreme hypothetical, if Delaware Bay ceased
to exist, even if Horseshoe Crabs disappeared from the planet tomorrow, rufa
Red Knots would not become extinct in three years. Knots do eat other prey
besides crab eggs, and there are other estuaries and beaches besides those
of Delaware Bay. I understand the implications and requirements of the very
long distance migration of the majority of rufa Red Knots, but other
portions of the population winter much farther north (than Argentina)
including in the US, and employ very different migration strategies than the
Tierra del Fuego segment of the population. Even the Argentine population
is capable of altering their migration strategies, and utilizing other, less
optimal migratory sites if crab eggs are depleted. I'm sure they are doing
this now. These and other factors such as a poor Arctic breeding season has
dramatically reduce the population to a lower level, but imminent extinction
is not an issue. Do you believe that the entire rufa Red Knot population
are 100% dependent upon Delaware Bay AND 100% dependent upon Horseshoe Crab
eggs to complete their migration and subsequent reproduction in the Arctic?
To claim that ONE site and ONE prey item, though clearly important to
maintaining the population at historical levels, is an absolute limiting
factor necessary to the complete survival of the entire race, is ridiculous.
Knots are not that much of a specialist.
Richard S. Heil
S. Peabody, MA
[log in to unmask]
----- Original Message -----
From: "Phil Jeffrey" <[log in to unmask]>
To: "rsheil" <[log in to unmask]>
Cc: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, May 29, 2007 9:42 PM
Subject: Re: [SHOREBIRDS] Red Knot - Extinction Question
> The paper in question is available online at
> (see link therein for full text version in PDF format).
> I am, however, extremely surprised that anyone would seek to criticize
> the contents of a paper they claim to have never read.
> Phil Jeffrey
> Princeton, NJ
> On 5/29/07, rsheil <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> [much text omitted]
> > Mark,
> > I haven't read the original paper but am basing my criticism of
> > extinction claims based on dozens (actually hundreds) of reports
> > from the above sources citing your paper. Does your paper, or does it
> > predict extinction at or near 2010 for rufa Red Knot?
> [more text omitted]