Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The odds: 0.0064%

0.0064%, those are the odds that the Ivory Billed Woodpecker is still in existence, according to an article read recently in a birding magazine. Not good odds, and being curious, one wonders, how do I read the article where these odds were calculated? The article read did give the name of the journal, Conservation Biology, a date, February 2012, and the authors.

So the first step was to go to the library home page, and click on the articles link. Then on that page, clicking on the journals listing gives one an A-Z search of all the journals, magazines and newspapers we have. Conservation Biology was there, but it doesn't have full text for the current year. This sort of "embargo" is not uncommon, it is publishers trying to protect sales of their print journals in part. The indexing is still there though, and the option to get the article through interlibrary loan. All one would need to do is follow through from the list, pick the appropriate date, find the reference to the article, and then use the "search for full text" link to have us get it for you. Yes, it is a few steps to go through, and it might seem easier to just Google it, but Google won't have the link for our interlibrary loan and so forth!

(The Ivory Billed Woodpecker is, or was, a large woodpecker that inhabited the old forests and floodplains of the deep South. The last verified sightings were in the 1930s, by which time habitat loss and so on had reduced the population to a small number. It was thought by some a few years ago that the birds had been sighted in forests in Arkansas, but that hope seems to be increasingly unlikely.)

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