Carden Alvar Nature Board by Bob BowlesShould we disclose the location of breeding endangered species?

In 1998 I found a small colony of Henslow's Sparrows not too far from the Carden site. I communicated with the MNR's Natural Heritage Information Center and it was felt that the location should not be disclosed. Accordingly, we didn't disclose it (except to the NHIC).

I don't wish this to sound scolding, because there may be sound contrary opinions. However, I wonder if anyone else thinks that for a species that is endangered in Canada, we should keep quiet about locations. In balancing the fate of a small and presumably tenuous colony against birders' (legitimate) desire to see the bird(s), I'm inclined to think the former is more important.

Most birders and nature photographers are conscientious naturalists who keep the welfare of birds foremost. I expect most stay on the road. However, we have all doubtless witnessed exceptions, especially when good photos are at stake. And, although I am fond of pishing for birds, collectively many birders doing the same thing might cause undue disturbance.


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