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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

conservation of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker (1 Viewer)

Ross McGregor

Well-known member
Ivory Billed Woodpecker's are alive and well in Boiling Spring Lakes, NC. People who purchased lot's 30 years ago and now wanting to build their retirement homes are not able too now because of this bird which is ok with me. Perhaps doing a search for BSL and the woodpecker will shed more light on the current status.

Also in BSL there is an off limit area due to the Venus Fly Trap. There is a narrow corridor where this plant grows and no where else. Very interesting for this one area that we find the IBW and the Venus Fly Trap.

bunky

It's red-cockaded woodpeckers that occur at Boiling Springs in NC, not ivory-billed: http://www.fws.gov/raleigh/bsl.html
 

MarkGelbart

Well-known member
The Ivory-billed Woodpecker Deserves Better

I concluded eight years of field work and research on the Ivory-billed Woodpecker in 2013. A series of lectures based on this work is posted at the above URL on the following issues:

* The Ivory-billed Woodpecker persists. I had encounters in Louisiana and Florida with at least four of them. Three of my ten sightings are supported by video evidence that is stronger than any other evidence that has been obtained.

* It is essential to establish a sustained conservation effort for this species without further delay. A previously missed opportunity set back the conservation of this species for decades and had a serious adverse effect on the search efforts of the past decade, which wasted millions of dollars by focusing almost entirely upon the goal of obtaining a clear photo. Think of where certain species would be right now if conservation efforts for the Whooping Crane, California Condor, and Kirtland’s Warbler had been delayed for decades or if the harmful effects of DDT had never been recognized.

* An important fact that came out of the recent multi-year search efforts in Arkansas, Florida, and Louisiana is that it is unlikely that anyone will obtain a clear photo in time to make a difference in the conservation of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker. It should be clear from the pattern of multiple rediscoveries that the Ivory-billed Woodpecker is an unusually elusive species. John Dennis knew this from direct experience, and he essentially foretold the outcomes of the search efforts of the past decade with the following comment in 1985: “It is almost impossible to photograph an ivorybill in a southern swamp unless a nest is discovered.”

* Three videos that were obtained during encounters with birds that were identified in the field as Ivory-billed Woodpeckers show numerous behaviors and field marks that can only be explained in terms of an Ivory-billed Woodpecker. Those videos have received the support of several ornithologists (some openly, and some in private), and none of this evidence has been refuted. There are concise discussions of all three videos at the above URL.

We have come to a very critical juncture in the history of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, which is arguably the most challenging issue in field ornithology and conservation. Funding has dried up. The trails have gone cold. There are no search efforts comparable to those of the past decade either in progress or planned. No ornithologist will ever again take the career risk of investing significant resources into another search effort. It’s unlikely that anyone will obtain a clear photo in time to make a difference in the conservation of this species, which is probably going to fall through the cracks once again unless leadership emerges from somewhere. Bird watchers could make a difference by carefully looking at the facts. It is unfortunate that, years ago when they could have made a difference, many bird watchers used this topic as a source of amusement rather than taking it seriously. It is for that reason that I stopped participating in bird watching forums. I have no intention to participate here other than to make this information available. I hope there are some bird watchers here that are serious about this conservation issue.

It's surprising that many bird watchers seem to be cocksure that the Ivory-billed Woodpecker is extinct. This would be surprising even if we only had the 2006 video, which is the weakest of the three videos mentioned above. According to Julie Zickefoose, several characteristics of the bird in that video are consistent with an Ivory-billed Woodpecker but don’t seem to be consistent with a Pileated Woodpecker. There is no question that it’s a large woodpecker on the basis of the size of the fork in which it appears. The fork was collected after the tree blew down in 2008 and is available for inspection. It follows from the assessment of an expert on woodpecker flight mechanics that the bird in a video that was obtained along the same bayou in 2008 can only be explained in terms of an Ivory-billed Woodpecker. From the context of that video, it’s clear that I had an excellent vantage point for observing the definitive dorsal field marks (the bird was nearly directly below at close range). It’s amazing that anyone could have the arrogance to assert that such a sighting and numerous other sightings by experienced bird watchers (of a large bird with distinctive and prominent field marks and flight characteristics that are remarkable according to Audubon and others) were simply mistakes. The 2007 video shows several events involving highly unusual flights and other behaviors that are consistent with Ivory-billed Woodpecker but don’t seem to be consistent with any other candidate species. That video was obtained during an extended encounter with two Ivory-billed Woodpeckers at a site where an ornithologist had a sighting. Nobody has managed to refute any of this evidence.

Mike Collins
Alexandria, Virginia
mike 'AT' fishcrow.com
http://fishcrow.com

You've got no evidence at all unless you bring us a live or dead specimen.

Put up or shut up.
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
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