Ivory Billed Woodpecker!   fores-@earthlink.net
  Apr 28, 2005 17:13 PDT 

WOW! They finally found the Ivory-bill again. Cache River of Arkansas.
Thankfully TNC had been buying up swampland with good quality forest in the

I knew they were still out there.

Ivory Billed Woodpecker   Edward Frank
  Apr 28, 2005 20:42 PDT 
Rediscovering the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker:  Long believed to be extinct, a magnificent bird--the Ivory-billed Woodpecker--has been rediscovered in the Big Woods of eastern Arkansas. More than 60 years after the last confirmed sighting of the species in the United States, a research team announced that at least one male ivory-bill still survives in vast areas of bottomland swamp forest.  Published in the journal Science on its Science Express Web site (April 28, 2005), the findings include multiple sightings of the elusive woodpecker and frame-by-frame analyses of brief video footage.  
Cornell Lab of Ornithology

The Ivory-Billed Woodpecker has Returned
The Nature Conservancy

The Ivory-billed Woodpecker is Rediscovered in Arkansas! 
Mary Scott, April 27, 2005

WWF Statement on Reports that Ivory-Billed Woodpecker Is Not Extinct
For Release: 04/28/2005


I also wanted to say that one of the best articles we have on our website
is one entitled:

Search for The Ivory Billed Woodpecker, by Matthew Largess Jan 2003


RE: IVORY-BILL! video online   Paul Jost
  Apr 29, 2005 05:19 PDT 


The full story and video are at:


In addition to the text that is available, if you have the bandwidth and
Apple Quicktime free viewer software, then view the video link.

Paul Jost
RE: Ivory Billed Woodpecker   DonCB-@netscape.net
  Apr 29, 2005 06:39 PDT 

My father called us yesterday giddy about the rediscovery of the ivory-billed woodpecker in Arkansas. From what I read in the paper this morning, they are going to temporarily close the section of the Cache River National Wildlife Refuge (not the Cache River National Forest, as called by the CBS Evening News last night) where the sightings were to better protect the population from disturbance until they figure out a system to allow visitors. They will continue searching for other individuals, but they have a large area of hard-to-get-through swamp and woods to examine. Check out this website for more info: http://www.ivorybill.org/

The Sugarberry Natural Area which I was thinking of using as a stop in next year's ENTS Arkansas Rendezvous is in the White River National Wildlife Refuge, just downstream from the Cache River locations, and is a part of the "Big Woods" system. Wouldn't surprise me at all if more are found in the swampy woods of eastern Arkansas!!

Don Bragg
RE: Ivory Billed Woodpecker   Robert Leverett
  Apr 29, 2005 08:11 PDT 


It's interesting. I never think of Arkansas as having a significant
area of swampy terrain. My time in Arkansas has been concentrated in
western Arkansas and the extreme Northeast - the Blytheville area. I
have been to Hot Springs NP, but that was a long time ago.

This is a whole new experience and an exciting one. looks like we
really made the right choice for next year's ENTS rendezvous.

RE: IVORY-BILL!   Darian Copiz
  Apr 29, 2005 11:12 PDT 


Although it could be a rallying point I am sure there are enough who may
be cursing it, saying now the South now has its Spotted owl! Although
there already is the Red-cockaded woodpecker, I would imagine the
Ivory-bill does have more public appeal. It's rebirth from the ashes of
extinction also makes it special. As long as the further protection
does not cause even the smallest financial loss to any of the Bush
administration's buddies, then possibly it may take action for further
protection. However, I suspect that the administration will only
pulicize any protections that are already in place and claim
responsibility for them.

Despite my pessimism for protection, I'm sure that there will be some
good results from the discovery, results that will be beneficial to far
more than just one species of woodpecker.

Unfortunately the bird is still on the brink of extinction though,
especially if some people head off into the woods with shotguns saying
"thought the damn bird was dead, better go make sure it stays dead!"
But let's hope for the best.


RE: IVORY-BILL!   Lee E. Frelich
  Apr 29, 2005 11:30 PDT 

Bob et al.:

Gale Norton today announced a multi-million dollar program for recovery of
the Ivory Billed Woodpecker population. In addition, The Nature
Conservancy has received several million dollars in donations for the project.

Although its nice to perhaps have the Ivory Billed Woodpecker back (the
population may or may not be viable), there are several hundred other less
charismatic species of plants, animals, insects, and fungi living in
hardwood forests that will go extinct during the next century.

In much of the country (New England being an exception for now) only about
10% of the original hardwood forests remain, and ecological theory predicts
that about 50% of all species living in these forest types will eventually
go extinct with that degree of habitat loss.

This prediction is just for habitat loss and fragmentation alone, it does
not account for invasive species such as European earthworms, high deer
populations, and climate change, which greatly magnify the problem. I have
recently received reports of ecosystem collapse in large non-fragmented
tracts of hardwood forest in northern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, where
an average stand has lost about 25% of all plant species during the last 50
years. This is true even for forests that are in nature reserves that most
people think are 'preserved'.

Re: IVORY-BILL!   fores-@earthlink.net
  Apr 29, 2005 20:35 PDT 

They don't know. All clear sightings were of a male. There was one possible
glimpse of a female, but it was not clear. It sounded like the viewing area
might not have been the main territory though. Obviously very secretive bird,
at least the ones that survived, the Tanner study said they were noisy and tame,
as 60 people given 14 months had a total of not much over a handful of brief
few seconds long sightings. Maybe some of the LA and FL sightings are real too.
Someone said they heard it in Mississippi I think a few years back in some of the
primest forest they had seen left in a southern swap, but they also saw loggers moving
into the area. I think it's been all cut.
Re: IVORY-BILL!   Gregory
  Apr 30, 2005 07:01 PDT 

The loss of the true Southern forest to logging and other human
technologies such as the D-9 Cat is surely one of the great tragedies to
befall Wild Nature in North America (where does one even start in terms of
a list?). Larry writes of loggers moving into a Miss. swamp where there was
an apparent sighting of IOBW. Hell, we still haven't learned from the
tragedy that befell the Singer Tract, where James Tanner did all his IOBW
field work with the species.
Alan Gregory
PA Wildlands Recovery Project
Re: IVORY-BILL!   dbhg-@comcast.net
  May 01, 2005 05:44 PDT 
    One of the great human failures of conscience has been our gross insensitivity to what we are doing to the Earth and its life forms. It can get very pretty depressing thinking about our performance as a species. We take comfort in out small victories to offset the disappointment of our huge defeats. Still, we have to keep trying. 


Ivory-Billed Woodpecker Habitat    Edward Frank
   May 03, 2005 19:05 PDT 


There is a nice Landsat image of the Cache River basin in Arkansas showing
the habitat where the recent sightings of the Ivory Billed Woodpecker
occurred. The full image is about 4.5 MB in size.


cacheriver_etm_2001357a.jpg (82883 bytes)

The text from the page reads:

Surrounded by farmland, crossed by an interstate highway, and located less
than 75 miles from Arkansas’ capital and largest city, the 55,000-acre
Cache River National Wildlife Refuge hardly seems wilderness enough to be
harboring any secrets. But between 2004 and 2005, this small refuge within
Arkansas’ “Big Woods” revealed just how valuable a treasure it hides in its
secret cache: the ivory-billed woodpecker, which had been presumed extinct
for 60 years.

In this image from NASA’s Landsat 7 satellite, acquired on December 23,
2001, the dense vegetation of swampy bottomland forests, sloughs, oxbow
river bends, and bayous in the Cache River National Wildlife Refuge makes a
dramatic contrast to the geometric checkerboard of farmlands. Ground that
is bare or sparsely vegetated appears pinkish tan. The dense (but leafless
in winter) vegetation of the refuge’s tupelo and cypress forests appears
dark gray. When you look carefully (particularly in the high-resolution
image), the forests are interwoven with swampy areas that appear lighter
gray. A large swath of this gray swampy area runs through the narrow strip
of the refuge that follows the Deview Bayou northeast of the large
protected area near image center. Interstate 40 cuts diagonally across the
southern part of this large tract of land.

Although there had been no confirmed sightings of the woodpecker that
earned the colloquial nickname “The Lord God Bird”—supposedly because of
people’s exclamations when encountering the strikingly colored bird with
its three-foot wingspan—several unconfirmed reports since the last
documented sighting in the 1940s kept sufficient hope alive for the bird to
still be listed in most field guides as ‘probably extinct.’

Scientists do not yet know whether the ivory bill observed in the half a
dozen or sightings since February 2004 is one bird among a small breeding
population or if the bird is one of a few lone survivors who will be the
last of their kind. To read more about the near total eradication of the
ivory-billed woodpecker and its habitat in the U.S. Southeast, the
rediscovery of the species, and plans to protect and expand its habitat,
visit the Website of the Cornell Ornithology Lab, which co-led the
verification study with scientists from the Nature Conservancy and other
federal, state, and local agencies and organizations.

NASA image by Robert Simmon, based on Landsat 7 data provided by the Global
Land Cover Facility

Edward Frank

RE: IVORY BILL!!!   Rory Nichols
  May 06, 2005 23:35 PDT 

Ahoj, Ents.

First off, that is truly awesome that the Ivory bill is alive! In the words

But I want to know if Ms. Norton will be stepping on the toes of her amigos?
Is logging still prevalent in the area? How much of the original habitat
remains? Isn't it funny they can use the Ivory bill as something to make
them appear to be not all that bad while they scrap the road less rule? I
hate to think what Alaska's governor will do.

Does anyone know about the Ivory bill in Cuba? I never knew they lived there
until I heard it on NPR. Are there swampy cypress like ecosystems there too?

Instead of the Ivory bill being the "southern spotted owl," I'm curious if
those who are not particularly pro environment can somehow twist this
around to make it seem that there are a lot more of everything out there
somewhere and that scientists purposely don't tell us this just so they can
lock up more land.

Rory Nichols
RE: IVORY BILL!!!   edward coyle
  May 07, 2005 10:18 PDT 


The Ivory bill is reported to have been wiped out in Cuba. The island got
whomped by a severe hurricane (I don't remember which one) that flattened a
lot of the remaining mature forest, and there wasn't much left of that due
to logging.
Do a couple remain? It is less likely than in our deep southern swamps. The
habitat for them is more restricted, and has been intensely searched. But we
have been surprised before.

The Ivory bill has been reported, and reliably so, by several people in the
U.S. during the last 20 years. I have chased leads myself, but to no avail.
Perhaps this winter will find me again searching for the bird I knew wasn't