Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The still-elusive ivory-bill

The Cornell University ornithologists who have spent years hunting the ivory-billed woodpecker seem about to throw in the towel. Since the bird's rediscovery in Arkansas, they can't find it there or anywhere else. The latest search is finishing up in a sighting hotspot in south Florida.
Ron Rohrbaugh, director of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker Research Project, said, "The lab will continue to be a hub for information, reports and scholarship about the ivory-billed woodpecker, including through an online database where members of the public can report sightings. But unless new evidence surfaces, it's probably safe to say that we're not going to put forward any more comprehensive, systematic searches like we've been doing for the last five years in Arkansas and with the mobile team."

COMMENT. It's discouraging. I think the original rediscovery was valid. And I don't think the bird is extinct. But it's very, very close. The bird videotaped in Arkansas might be the last one ever confirmed.

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