NSS Questions USFWS on Bat Death Estimate

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Re: NSS Questions USFWS on Bat Death Estimate

Postby Alex Sproul » Feb 1, 2012 3:20 pm

tncaver wrote:You tell me. There was no members manual this year. :laughing:


Be that as it may, you can still look up NSS members here: http://caves.org/search.shtml. :kewl:
IF you're a member yourself, that is.

And yes, Ann Froschauer is NSS Member #61262

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Re: NSS Questions USFWS on Bat Death Estimate

Postby boogercaver71 » Feb 1, 2012 4:22 pm

BrianC wrote:Isn't Ann F. a member of that recreational cavers organisation?


My response to Ann

Who has found most of the caves by untold hours and miles of ridge walking?
Recreational Cavers
Who has mapped most of the caves?
Recreational cavers
Who has reported most of the cave critter findings for scientists to have something to study?
Recreational cavers
Who was at the forefront to get most of the cave and karst protection acts into law?
Recreational cavers
Who manages most of the caves for private land owners?
Recreational cavers

Many of the States are seeing more and more vandalism in State owned caves because recreational cavers have been shut out of the permit process, and now are re-thinking this mindset. I can only hope that the Feds will to come to this realization.
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Re: NSS Questions USFWS on Bat Death Estimate

Postby PYoungbaer » Feb 15, 2012 11:01 am

It's been three weeks since the NSS wrote USFWS asking for it's data and methodology in producing its estimate that "at least 5.7 million to 6.7 million" bats have died from WNS, and four weeks since USFWS put out its news release. We still have no response.

However, USFWS spokeswoman, Ann Froschauer did put a post up on the USFWS WNS Blog, including a portion written by Jeremy Coleman. It basically reiterates what the news release said - that they used two methods to arrive at their result, but no details and no data. Coleman says they are preparing a manuscript for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, but who knows when that might appear?

Coleman also says, "The methods we used for this exercise preclude the generation of confidence estimates,..." What? What the heck does that mean? What scientific peers will review this? Coleman says that all involved were "generally satisfied" with the "relative agreement" of the methods. I'm sorry, but this is opinion, not science.

Here's a link to the Blog: http://whitenosebats.wordpress.com/2012/02/14/estimating-mortality/

Seriously, I was a part of the group in Austin that came up with the original estimate. I was also privy to the USFWS estimate that was prepared for U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg just last March (2011), of 1.1 million bats. Both of those methods had their acknowledged shortcomings, but that said, just what is USFWS saying now? Did at least an additional 4.6 -5.6 million bats die from WNS in the last 11 months? I don't think anyone can say that, and surely not demonstrate it.

If that's the case, than USFWS's estimate last March was way off. Are they admitting that now? If so, how do they arrive at that? Please explain. These two scenarios cannot coexist.

This is why the NSS asked for a time element to go along with the numbers. In my educated opinion, it is more likely that the deaths - whatever number - have been spread out over the years. But either way, let's see the calculations.

Further, with what we do know about WNS - that cave microclimates affect disease progression, and that WNS affects different species differently, and that some suspect warmer southern climates, smaller western colony size, and species range differences may predict some speed change in the disease spread - scientists and managers need to know and understand the details. Is WNS speeding up or slowing down? Is is slowing in the South, but accelerating in the North? Wouldn't this be more helpful than simply putting out a raw number, which does not help fashion a response or allocate scarce resources?

Finally, nearly every WNS media story now includes boiler plate language to the effect that "over 5 million" or "nearly 7 million" bats have died, up from the previous 1 million. This leaves the clear public impression that the disease has just recently exploded. Even USFWS Director Ashe uses the term "startling new information" to describe the situation in the news release, clearly implying that it just happened. Others say "astonishing" or "alarming," or use similar terms. These are words connoting immediacy, and are carefully chosen for their impact. These are advocacy terms, not scientific terms, and I don't believe they honestly describe what has happened. This hype gets in the way of reasoned and rational scientific inquiry and common sense managerial action.

(Note: edited for typo and format corrections)
Last edited by PYoungbaer on Feb 15, 2012 11:19 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: NSS Questions USFWS on Bat Death Estimate

Postby tncaver » Feb 15, 2012 11:10 am

Peter Youngbaer stated: "This hype gets in the way of reasoned and rational scientific inquiry and common sense managerial action."

Agreed. There seems to be a lack of science as well as common sense within the USFWS. And to think, our taxes pay these people to come up
with that garbage.
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Re: NSS Questions USFWS on Bat Death Estimate

Postby BrianC » Feb 15, 2012 11:28 am

The real question here Peter is, What motivates the responses created by the USFWS? What do these greatly exaggerated numbers provide for the USFWS? I think that many of us here know the answers, and know how to get this misinformation corrected. The next question is, Why hasn't the NSS reacted strongly with these ridiculous measures? Don't tell me that the NSS asking for reasoning behind the numbers is showing real frustration! Me thinks that some words including "DEMAND" and "RETRIBUTION" must be included in any further corresponding from the NSS to the USFWS. Quit playing their game, and start helping the masses of Americans being restricted by bad information!

:boxing: :argue: :shrug:
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Re: NSS Questions USFWS on Bat Death Estimate

Postby PYoungbaer » Feb 15, 2012 2:05 pm

BrianC wrote:I think that many of us here know the answers, and know how to get this misinformation corrected.


Great! Go do it!

BrianC wrote: "RETRIBUTION" must be included in any further corresponding from the NSS to the USFWS.


RETRIBUTION? Really? C'mon.
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Re: NSS Questions USFWS on Bat Death Estimate

Postby Yahtaa » Feb 15, 2012 2:34 pm

Funny how the article disappeared.

:rofl:
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Re: NSS Questions USFWS on Bat Death Estimate

Postby BrianC » Feb 15, 2012 3:30 pm

PYoungbaer wrote:
BrianC wrote:I think that many of us here know the answers, and know how to get this misinformation corrected.


Great! Go do it!


Of course Peter, Just by writing these posts, we are getting a small part done right here.

BrianC wrote:
"RETRIBUTION" must be included in any further corresponding from the NSS to the USFWS.


RETRIBUTION? Really? C'mon.


Why not? Why not ask that we be compensated for a" loss of use" when the loss has been unsubstantiated, and realized by false data? Peter, I ask again Why Not?
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Re: NSS Questions USFWS on Bat Death Estimate

Postby boogercaver71 » Feb 15, 2012 3:38 pm

Funny thing about the article. First I thought it was still called US Fish and Game, second the NSS is not listed as a partner. Weird, huh. :shrug:
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Re: NSS Questions USFWS on Bat Death Estimate

Postby PYoungbaer » Feb 15, 2012 4:11 pm

Boogercaver - what article are you referring to? The Kentucky news article linked on page one of this thread has expired through its website, not at all unusual for numerous media outlets; the USFWS blog is definitely still up there, but I'm not sure what you're referring to re: partners. Please explain. If you go to http://www.fws.gov/WhiteNoseSyndrome/partners.html, you'll see the NSS is listed as a partner in the WNS investigation, as it has been for years, appropriately.
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Re: NSS Questions USFWS on Bat Death Estimate

Postby JSDunham » Feb 15, 2012 4:32 pm

I commented on their blog, but unknown if they will "moderate" it out of existence. I suggest others do the same, as well as on any news sources that repeat the number. Unless they are willing to justify it, I think we should assume it is false and take issue with it wherever it appears.
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Re: NSS Questions USFWS on Bat Death Estimate

Postby boogercaver71 » Feb 15, 2012 5:36 pm

PYoungbaer wrote:Boogercaver - what article are you referring to? The Kentucky news article linked on page one of this thread has expired through its website, not at all unusual for numerous media outlets; the USFWS blog is definitely still up there, but I'm not sure what you're referring to re: partners. Please explain. If you go to http://www.fws.gov/WhiteNoseSyndrome/partners.html, you'll see the NSS is listed as a partner in the WNS investigation, as it has been for years, appropriately.


My mistake, I looked at it twice and did not see the NSS. Guess I need new glasses.
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Re: NSS Questions USFWS on Bat Death Estimate

Postby David Grimes » Feb 15, 2012 5:58 pm

JSDunham wrote:I commented on their blog, but unknown if they will "moderate" it out of existence. I suggest others do the same, as well as on any news sources that repeat the number. Unless they are willing to justify it, I think we should assume it is false and take issue with it wherever it appears.



Looks like your comments are already gone. Maybe I will try and see what happens.

EDIT: I made a post directing users to the letter from Peter on the NSS website. It says awaiting moderation so lets see if it makes the cut.
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Re: NSS Questions USFWS on Bat Death Estimate

Postby GroundquestMSA » Feb 15, 2012 7:02 pm

PYoungbaer wrote:BrianC wrote:
"RETRIBUTION" must be included in any further corresponding from the NSS to the USFWS.

RETRIBUTION? Really? C'mon.


BrianC wrote:Why not? Why not ask that we be compensated for a" loss of use" when the loss has been unsubstantiated, and realized by false data? Peter, I ask again Why Not?


Because we aren't seven years old.
(In case Peter is wholly stumped by your query, may I suggest this as a possible answer?)
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Re: NSS Questions USFWS on Bat Death Estimate

Postby BrianC » Feb 15, 2012 7:29 pm

GroundquestMSA wrote:
PYoungbaer wrote:BrianC wrote:
"RETRIBUTION" must be included in any further corresponding from the NSS to the USFWS.

RETRIBUTION? Really? C'mon.


BrianC wrote:Why not? Why not ask that we be compensated for a" loss of use" when the loss has been unsubstantiated, and realized by false data? Peter, I ask again Why Not?


Because we aren't seven years old.
(In case Peter is wholly stumped by your query, may I suggest this as a possible answer?)


Five or six, really makes little difference!
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