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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, February 14, 2006

 

-- DNA Evidence ? --

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The question of testing for the presence of Ivory-bills using DNA evidence has repeatedly popped up around the internet from time to time. Cornell says they have indeed been testing feathers pulled from suspicious bark scalings in the Big Woods and thus far all have proven to be Pileated. They are not able to get DNA from saliva (which birds don't have) or from "footprints;" they did not specifically mention beak gouges, but I suspect these likewise are not a suitable source for DNA. Further they note that it simply isn't "cost efficient" to test for Ivory-bill DNA by vacuuming up and checking material from the floor of interesting tree cavities (unless it is already visually known with high probability that IBWOs have used the cavity).
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