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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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Saturday, November 29, 2008

 

-- Bit More on Mississippi --

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Following up a bit on yesterday's post... Even though there hasn't been a documented sighting of an Ivory-bill in Mississippi in well over 60 years (although there were at least 13 unverified reports since 1944), based on the literature, I've long thought Mississippi one of the three most likely states to harbor the species (along with Florida and Louisiana). In his Ivory-bill book, Jerry Jackson spends more pages discussing the potential of Mississippi than any other state except for FL. and La.
There are many areas of interesting habitat in the state, and not only does the Mississippi River run the entire length of the state's western border, but internally there are many riverine/tributary systems which connect up to many wildlife refuges, rural forests, or bottomland/delta areas. Much (not all) of the state was part of the original historical distribution for the species and of course it is adjacent to Louisiana's original Singer Tract where Ivory-bills were last studied. Cornell's "Mobile Team" (as well as many others) has spoken especially favorably of the Pascagoula region in the southeast corner of the state. The state's southern end is also adjacent to Louisiana's Pearl River region, site for ongoing claims. Besides those areas, the Yazoo River Delta is probably the other most-commonly-cited search-worthy area, but there are plenty of other tracts that hold some potential, especially for dispersing young birds to hang out awhile before they search for more permanent homes and mates.

Bill Pulliam looked over the state's habitat using Terraserver a couple of years back and deduced some areas of possible interest as well --- see here (his state-by-state analysis begins here).
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