Date: 6/28/19 9:57 am
From: Jason A. Crotty <jasonacrotty...>
Subject: [obol] Re: Yellow-billed Cuckoos: Thank you for the robust comments on the ESA de-listing proposal!
This has been an interesting learning experience and I'm glad OBOL
occasionally allows topics stretch beyond news of recent rarities and
sightings. For those who have not braved the opaqueness of the federal
online notice and comment process, the comments by the Cornell folks are
attached in PDF format. (All of the comments can be found here
As this is an issue that will surely come up again, they might consider an
academic paper regarding the uses and misuses of eBird data and the
limitations of eBird data, perhaps using the YBCU as a case study. That
would provide a paper to cite in comments for all applicable regulatory
actions and it would have whatever additional credibility the peer review
process adds. And it is surely time for an assessment of how the eBird
data is used (and misused).

The laws and regulations that govern the notice and comment process
(primarily the Administrative Procedure Act or "APA") effectively require
an agency -- here USFWS -- to substantively assess all of the comments.
Thus, the final rule will likely have to grapple with the data issues.

Thanks to everyone who raised the issue and actually prompted some action
on this topic.

Jason Crotty

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