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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






Wednesday, November 14, 2007

 

-- USF&W Summary --

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The US Fish & Wildlife Service has released a short summary of their 2007 Ivory-billed Woodpecker search season:

http://www.fws.gov/ivorybill/IBM-SearchSummary2007.pdf

The state searches briefly summarized therein are Arkansas, Tennessee, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and South Carolina. Possible auditory encounters and IBWO foraging or cavity sign continue to be mentioned, but of course no definitive sightings or film/video reported.

USF&W biologist Chuck Hunter, one of the leaders of the effort, concludes, “It is imperative we continue with searches for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker. Enough credible evidence continues to come to our attention that leads us to believe several isolated pairs or very small populations still exist.”

According to the summary, the 2008 search may make greater use of helicopters for searching from the air, while employing "smaller professional groups," but increasing citizen involvement in the effort.

Personally, I continue to doubt that IBWO will be found in Texas, though am happy for searches to continue there. The WesternTennessee-Kentucky-Illinois-Missouri corridor actually intrigues me more than Texas; possibly more even than the current sharp focus on South Carolina, which I've only slowly come to take far more seriously. And finally, the NorthFlorida-Georgia-Alabama-Mississippi-Louisiana corridor, remains, to my mind the very best chance for Ivory-bill persistence... but, nothing really more than gut hunches. And the Arkansas search of course continues as well.

Cornell should be out within a month with a more detailed account of their specific search efforts from the past year. But I suspect now that the Auburn summary of their Choctawhatchee effort may not be publicly available before the new 2008 search season is already underway.

The bottom-line message from the USF&W report is that, despite what one might think from perusing opinions in certain corners of cyberspace, many of the professionals most familiar with the data and evidence for the presence of Ivory-bills, continue to believe that the effort is worth the time, money, and manpower expended.
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