Tags: ivory-billed | woodpecker | extinct

Ivory-Billed Woodpecker Extinct? Maybe Not

Image: Ivory-Billed Woodpecker Extinct? Maybe Not

A pair of stuffed Ivory-billed Woodpeckers. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)
 

By    |   Thursday, 26 Jan 2017 06:45 AM

The ivory-billed woodpecker may not be extinct, as believed by scientists, after a video surfaced that a researcher claims to show the elusive bird.

Michael Collins, a researcher at the Naval Research Laboratory, argues that despite lack of other evidence that the woodpecker may exist, its habitat must be protected, reported Fox News.

Collins' research on the bird, published in Heliyon, suggests the bird still lives in hard to access swamp lands.

"You're not going to find the birds by going out and looking for them for a week or even a year," Collins told Fox News. "Over eight years of intense research, I've only had 10 sightings of the bird."

Collins spent 1,500 hours between 2005 and 2013 in the Pearl River region of Mississippi and Louisiana in search for the woodpecker.

"These birds reside in the interior of vast flooded forests," he said. "The drone video footage in Movie S1 gives an impression of the vastness of the Pearl River swamp, even though it shows only a small fraction of it."

"There is cover in all directions in the interior of a forest, which limits visibility to small areas, provides many hiding spots for a wary bird, and makes photography more difficult. Both the size of the habitat and the limited visibility significantly reduce the likelihood of discovery."

In the study, Collins called for the development of "a more pragmatic alternative approach for documentation" that the bird is not extinct so funds can be allocated to maintain its habitat.

Steven Milloy, publisher of the website JunkScience.com, pushed back against Collins' work, arguing that research on the existence of the ivory-billed woodpecker has more to do with land development and protecting the bird.

"Unlike birds, scams never go extinct," Milloy wrote. "… As JunkScience.com exposed in February 2006, alleged sightings of the ivory-billed woodpecker are just a trick to keep land from being developed."

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The ivory-billed woodpecker may not be extinct, as believed by scientists, after a video surfaced that a researcher claims to show the elusive bird.
ivory-billed, woodpecker, extinct
318
2017-45-26
Thursday, 26 Jan 2017 06:45 AM
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