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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.

Web ivorybills.blogspot.com

"....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, November 13, 2006


-- Louisiana Searchin' --

Funding is being sought for aerial flyovers of appropriate habitat in parts of (east, west and central) Louisiana in the search for Ivory-bills:


This is likely a response to many rumored IBWO sightings in La. over the last year --- although Fla. probably has the largest IBWO population, La. may well have had more actual rumors the last couple yrs. stemming from different parties, and both states have much excellent, but difficult to access habitat.

I am personally doubtful that IBWOs remain in either Texas or S. Carolina (though many think so, and I'm glad to see serious searches being conducted there), but should IBWOs be located in both La. and Fl. I believe it will say much about prospects for the entire Fl.-Ga.-Al.-Ms.-La.-corridor that the bird could easily have moved along and remained hidden in for the last 60 years. The Arkansas find opened up the potential for a more northerly (and even less explored) corridor as well: Mo.-IL.-Ar.-Tn. Or, it is always possible we are dealing with separate and isolated populations, though this seems more doubtful given the risk of genetic bottlenecks over time.

It's amazing that so many individuals who claim to be interested in and concerned about endangered species have given up so quickly on this species with so many reports afloat, just because the initial spot-checks done to date (and they're not much more than that) have failed to confirm. Some people are putting tremendous (and unwarranted) faith in human knowledge which is neither perfect or all-encompassing, while greatly (and routinely) underestimating nature, the 'will to live,' and the drive to reproduce.

Don't worry Cyber....I don't have any unwarranted faith in your knowledge.

I thought you didn't want to disturb the woodpeckers, so how can you endorse the flyovers?
I neither endorsed nor opposed the flyovers; merely reported them as an indication of the interest in La. which gets lost in the focus on Ar. and Fl. In fact, I'm doubtful flyovers will yield much success (especially in terms of photos), except possibly to further categorize certain habitat. I don't believe Texas searches will meet with success either, BUT I still endorse them as worth doing.

ALL human activity in the forest is probably "disturbing" to IBWOs and other creatures so it is a matter of where one draws lines.

As to my 'knowledge,' it primarily consists of a recognition of how LITTLE definitive knowledge any of us have on the topic, and in the absence of such knowledge one must err on the side of the creature-in-question.
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