The Ivory Billed Woodpecker, last seen more than sixty years ago and long considered extinct, has been sighted in the woods of Arkansas. The
woodpecker was captured on video and its identification was confirmed by experts from the Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology. More than
fifty experts took place in the search for this American legend which disappeared years ago when the big bottomland forests of North America were
BRINKLEY, Ark. - 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 today 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. The evidence was gathered during an intensive year-long search in the Cache River and White River
national wildlife refuges involving more than 50 experts and field biologists working together as part of the Big Woods Conservation Partnership, led
by the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology at Cornell University and The Nature Conservancy.
"The bird captured on video is clearly an ivory-billed woodpecker," said John Fitzpatrick, the Science article's lead author, and director of the
Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. "Amazingly, America may have another chance to protect the future of this spectacular bird and the awesome forests
in which it lives."
"It is a landmark rediscovery," said Scott Simon, director of The Nature Conservancy's Arkansas chapter. "Finding the ivory-bill in Arkansas validates
decades of great conservation work and represents an incredible story of hope for the future."
The largest woodpecker in North America, the ivory-billed woodpecker is known through lore as a bird of beauty and indomitable spirit. The species
vanished after extensive clearing destroyed millions of acres of virgin forest throughout the South between the 1880s and mid-1940s.
Although the majestic bird has been sought for decades, until now there was no firm evidence that it still existed.
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Our old Pal Woody Woodpecker seems to be here with us again. It is Great to see that nature can prevail and surprise us from time to time. While
mankind has trashed the wilderness seemingly without concern for ages, it is great too see that there are still some survivors in our reckless war on
This is the exact reason why the Endangered Species List is so important. As we poison our rivers and lakes and clear cut our forest lands, we are
loosing the earths rich biodiversity at an alarming rate. Only through careful conservation and intelligent sustainable use, can we hope to maintain a
world that will support the species Homosapiens.
While this may give cheer to those searching for Big Foot, Chupacabra and Elvis, I am just happy to know that ol' Woody may come knocking at my door
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