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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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"....The truth is out there."

-- Dr. Jerome Jackson, 2002 (... & Agent Fox Mulder)

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

-- Hamlet

"All truth passes through 3 stages: First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as self-evident."

-- Arthur Schopenhauer

Monday, December 05, 2005


-- South Carolina Hopes --

South Carolina has long been on many people's short-list of likely Ivory-bill homes (actually I have a rather longer list), since the 1930's when James Tanner named it is as one of only 3 states remaining he suspected of harboring the birds. The Santee and Congaree River regions have long been the source for IBWO rumors, and a credible-sounding 2004 spotting report of 2 IBWOs off the Waccamaw River near the Green Swamp area brought attention to that locale.
Cornell has earlier stated they would be conducting winter IBWO searches throughout the species' former habitat range (from S.C. to Texas), but Federal, State, and private biologists in S.C. apparently couldn't wait and are already organizing a search plan similar to Cornell's Arkansas efforts for their state:


Just now to the Santee? Isn't that the place where hundreds were seen as late as the 1930's? Congaree also?

I have corresponded with people that indicate the Santee is pretty wild, still, despite the nuclear power plant. I would have thought this would have been searched before.
Tanner believed there were likely IBWOs remaining in the Santee in the 30s (but no, not 100s), but never found any himself. Nor any other confirmed sightings since then; just lots of claims and rumors by individuals stomping through the area; no really large-scale organized searches. The area still has wildness, but not compared to what it was 70+ years ago. Some rate the Congaree as a better prospect now.
Well, I believe much of the area was flooded by Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie (dammed 1939, 1942), see this link, or this link, which calls the lakes "156,000 acres of outdoor paradise." Not for Ivory-bills, that's for sure.

I heard Dr. Alan Feduccia of UNC-CH mention that the area flooded by these lakes was also one of the last known areas for Carolina Parakeets.

I could be wrong, but I believe that is much of the area that was mentioned by Tanner--I don't have the book in front of me.
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