Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Of "Save" the Falcons: Big Lies

This meme probably should have been swatted long ago-- in fact, I thought it had been-- but it has reared its head in a new place.

The political site Frontpage , in an unexceptionable (and as far as I know mostly correct) but heated article on Saudi money's use in funding terrorism, cited the Arab's "macho" devotion to falconry and referred readers to the site "Save the Falcons", run by the so- called "Union for Conservation of Raptors"..

There's just one trouble: the site is somewhere between evil (in the sense of character assassination) and barking mad, and, I suspect, exists mainly to further the personal agendas of one or two people, one of whom is genuinely creepy.

"Union for Conservation of Raptors" sounds mainstream, doesn't it? Certainly the Peregrine Fund, the World Wildlife Fund, the World Conservation Union, and CITES are, right?

Well, Save the Falcons alleges, in its "Ten Most wanted " bar (which has a lot more than ten individuals-- they count about as well as they tell the truth about anything) that all of the above, plus the president of Kazakhstan, the head of CITES USA, the US ambassador to Mongolia, Tom Cade of the Peregrine Fund (who single- handedly spearheaded the successful drive to restore the Peregrine, a rare success which took it off the Endangered Species list), most of the world's best bird of prey biologists (Dr. Nick Fox in the UK, Vladimir Flint * and Sasha Sorokin of Russia, Eugene Potapov**, who now resides in the USA) AND the Russian Mafia, are parts of a "cartel" to profit off Saudi money at the expense of falcons. They say that CITES is run by "falcon warlords"!

"Save the Falcons" is essentially the creation of two men, biologist David Ellis and Alan "Hari Har Singh Khalsa" Parrott, a Texas- born "Sikh" who himself has been alleged to have ties to Saudi Arabia, who attempted to monopolize the Mongolian falcon trade to the Arabs (quite publicly-- I don't have time to Google it all now but I'm sure the most cursory search will find more, including a slightly credulous but interesting WSJ article)) and who was subsequently declared persona non grata in that country. He has also been accused of falcon smuggling himself.

I don't know what Ellis's motives are, but Parrott's seem clear.

For some sane refutation of their claims go to Nick Fox's "Save the SAKER". (Sakers are in fact the only bird that would be affected by Arab falconry and the only bird used in falconry that is currently under pressure). Yes, some Arabs are falconers. Yes, Nick's foundation takes Arab--Emirate, not Saudi-- money. Yes, he works with Mongolian biologists, and Russians and the P- Fund. What all those people above have in common is love of raptors. Period.

Full disclosure. I have ties to many of these people, and have for years. Which is why I respect their integrity.

*Author of the Russian "Peterson's", Birds of the Soviet Union, who is DEAD.

**Author of the splendid new monograph The Gyrfalcon.

5 comments:

M.L. Miller said...

Fortunately, I doubt many will take the time to read that rambling mess of a web site, and I suspect that even fewer will be persuaded by it.

I saw Tom Cade two weeks ago at the Archives of Falconry, while giving a tour of the Peregrine Fund facilities to my Mongolian conservationist guest. He was doing some research for the proposed release of aplomado falcons in New Mexico.

Have you been to the Archives? It's a great collection and getting better all the time. This was the first time I looked at their bird specimen collection, and we even got to check out the passenger pigeon. There is a new wing being added, on I believe Middle Eastern falconry, funded by the United Arab Emirates. That should fuel more activity on "Save the Falcons."

There are Mongolian conservationists visiting Arizona and possibly New Mexico in January.

Jennifer and I are planning to travel to Mongolia in 2007. I am even thinking about a hunt arranged through my friend, which seems like I may even be able to afford it.

Cheers,
Matt

M.L. Miller said...

Fortunately, I doubt many will take the time to read that rambling mess of a web site, and I suspect that even fewer will be persuaded by it.

I saw Tom Cade two weeks ago at the Archives of Falconry, while giving a tour of the Peregrine Fund facilities to my Mongolian conservationist guest. He was doing some research for the proposed release of aplomado falcons in New Mexico.

Have you been to the Archives? It's a great collection and getting better all the time. This was the first time I looked at their bird specimen collection, and we even got to check out the passenger pigeon. There is a new wing being added, on I believe Middle Eastern falconry, funded by the United Arab Emirates. That should fuel more activity on "Save the Falcons."

There are Mongolian conservationists visiting Arizona and possibly New Mexico in January.

Jennifer and I are planning to travel to Mongolia in 2007. I am even thinking about a hunt arranged through my friend, which seems like I may even be able to afford it.

Cheers,
Matt

Anonymous said...

Parrot and Ellis are champions of wild falcons, and are among the few who have taken the high risk of protecting them from rapacious falconers and biologists, who are making millions off today's black market trade.
Just check out how Nick Fox lived in a a one-room flat before he met the Arabs, and how he is now making $5,000,000 per annum selling falcons and other "services" to his Arab paymasters.

Steve Bodio said...

I stand by my comments-- any objective examination of the facts and personalities involved will show what I have said to be true. To believe the idea that all these responsible people would conspire together requires the paranoia of a 9-11 "Truther". I have been accused of being part of it myself-- I drive a '93 truck and live in a four room house. Do some independent research.

That Nick Fox has Arab backers is a matter of record. He breeds birds, not smuggles them

Anonymous said...

such a shame that such idiots even bother to make up shit elike this!that is mr elllis and mr parrott

who cares if it is done legally and it obviously is!

dumb ass mo fo