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IVORY-BILLS  LiVE???!  ...

=> THE blog devoted to news and commentary on the most iconic bird in American ornithology, the Ivory-billed Woodpecker (IBWO)... and... sometimes other schtuff.
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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

 

- The Ivory-bill Range...how far north??? -

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Discovering Ivory-bills in Arkansas, at the north end of it's one-time range is especially exciting because of implications for other search areas to consider. Most Ivory-bill optimists expected the species to be found, if at all, near the southern end of its former range, somewhere closer to the Gulf Coast; but of course there was no good way to predict which direction birds might head having 60 years to wander (and adapt) in pursuit of adequate habitat, food, and protection. Given an Arkansas population, southern Missouri, southern Illinois, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia, are no longer out of the question for searches. Even southern Ohio has had previous hints of possible IBWOs, and more recently Steve Sheridan recounted a story of 70's sightings in southern Indiana. (Indeed, looking in remote places NOT-previously searched, in states not seriously considered before, just may make sense in the end.)
The official IBWO recovery team is planning organized IBWO searches through the southern tier of states this winter, and certainly with limited manpower they should focus on the highest probability areas first. But hopefully, able folks in other, less probable yet still possible, states will take the initiative to explore their own hinterlands as well. Who knows... the next Gene Sparling just might emerge from a state or area few would've predicted!
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