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Not extinct after all...

 
 
Reply Thu 28 Apr, 2005 10:24 pm
Finally some good news. The Ivory Billed Woodpecker is not extinct (yet).

Until tonight I though the only Ivory Billed Woodpecker I could ever possibly see was in a picture like this one:

http://nc-es.fws.gov/port/ivorybill2.jpg

But now I'm hoping to see a real (high quality modern) photograph some day.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 994 • Replies: 8
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coluber2001
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Apr, 2005 10:52 pm
Wonderful news! I haven't read the story yet, but there's a lot of forest in Arkansas and hope for the ivory bill. I've also read, in the past, about rumors of ivory bills in Cuba, though with the economy so bad there, I wonder if they have much forest left.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Apr, 2005 11:01 pm
Rosborne, you are the second or third host to this topic.... but that's just fine - it's some exciting news! I want to see it!

I have one looming question - what's the lifespan of this species?
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Stradee
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Apr, 2005 11:02 pm
http://www.defenders.org/wildlife/birds/04/ivorybill.jpg

More information:

The Ivory-billed Woodpecker was once found in virgin forests throughout much of the southeastern United States and up the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers at least as far north as St. Louis. It was also known from mature forests through much of Cuba. The past 100 years of this species' history link U.S. birds to bottomland swamp forests and Cuban birds to upland pines. In truth, throughout its range, the Ivory-billed Woodpecker was associated with extensive old-growth forests, the solitude of wilderness, and the availability of immense beetle larvae that were its principal food. The specific forest types in which it survived may have been an accident of human actions.

Human attention to this lord of the forest and human destruction of its realm have led to its cur-rent status as one of the rarest birds in the world, or extinct. In spite of a continued flow of unsubstantiated reports, some with tantalizing but inconclusive evidence, the scientific community has no conclusive documentation for recent occurrence of the species in the United States. The population in Cuba seems little better off, its habitat decimated and the last reported (undocumented by photos or sound recordings) sighting in 1992 (J. McNeeley pers. comm.). James Tanner (1942a) took the last universally accepted photos of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers in the United States in northeast Louisiana in 1938; John Dennis (1948) took the last photos of this species in Cuba in April 1948.
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Stradee
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Apr, 2005 11:08 pm
oops...the most important portion of the article!

Editor's Note: April 2005 -- Ivory-billed Woodpecker rediscovered in eastern Arkansas! The Big Woods Conservation Partnership launched an unprecedented search effort for this species after credible sight reports emerged from the Cache River National Wildlife Refuge in 2004. Acoustic and video documentation since then confirm the earlier sightings. This account will be updated soon to reflect these developments, but the basics of the life history information here remain accurate and unchanged. This is an extraordinary species that we might have the chance to study again. Read more -->

http://www.birds.cornell.edu/ivory/
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Apr, 2005 08:15 am
littlek wrote:
Rosborne, you are the second or third host to this topic.... but that's just fine - it's some exciting news! I want to see it!

I have one looming question - what's the lifespan of this species?


Lifespan of the species or an individual? I'm not sure how long particular individuals can live, but large birds like crows can live over 20 years. Ducks can live over 50 years.

As for the species, that probably all depends on how well its environment can be preserved. Pileated's and Ivory's eat large grubs which are found in rotting logs and large old trees, so they need large tracts of old growth forrest to support them. Pileated's are less picky about what they eat, and this is probably why they have fared better than Ivories with a more diverse habitat and food requirements.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Apr, 2005 05:21 pm
So, this one bird couldn't have been around since the last known siting 60 years ago? I can't wait to see this story unfold.
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Apr, 2005 09:29 pm
littlek wrote:
So, this one bird couldn't have been around since the last known siting 60 years ago? I can't wait to see this story unfold.


I suppose it might be possible, but it seems extremely unlikely.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Apr, 2005 09:33 pm
Trying not to get my hopes too high....
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