Links to Articles:
"The Ivory-billed Woodpecker has been found alive in Arkansas! This is no Joke!
It is already up on the Nature Conservancy Site even though the links are
dead. There is going to be a press conference at the Department of the
Interior tomorrow at 11:30 am eastern time to announce the findings of a 2 year
study by Cornell:
Nature Conservancy Article
This is absolutely Amazing!
New York Times article (2 Aug 2005 ) provided by Sherry
Article by Mary Scott ( 27 Apr 2005) provided by Tim
National Public Radio Article (with photo - 27 Apr 2005)
provided by John Cavitt
Seven Sightings of
the Ivory-billed Woodpecker provided by Matt Williams
Facts about the Bird (Cornell Lab.) provided by James
Woodpecker Field Guide Page (Sibley Website)
provided by Tim Avery
Poem written on the occasion
by Glenda Cotter
April 28, 2005
On Hearing the News That
Ivory-billed Woodpeckers Have Been Found
Do you suppose that this is how they felt, the
friends of Lazarus, when he was seen to walk again?
Seen to blink and pause and breathe
among the living things of the world–
his friends seeking one another
not to console, as they’d done so often,
but in a moment of immense happiness
and disbelief, stirred by euphoria
at news so good that almost
it defied all comprehension.
So much has been given to grief and loss,
thoughts have so long been troubled
by the struggle to save a memory or a fragment,
then let hope sing
at this chance
A grand bird given back
after sixty years of absence
by some unnameable grace:
What’s black and white and red all over,
and ivory-billed and so long gone?
Something that is both blessing and confirmation
at a moment when the tide had nearly
turned to despair for all that has been lost
and all that is going to be lost and for
everything in this miraculous world
that will never come again under this
sea of cloud and sky and sun.
And yet they have been found.
Believe the words in this one instance,
for a single immaculate moment,
and believe again in possibility:
some of the missing do return
and we are given up to our rejoicing.
Glenda Cotter, copyright 2005
(May not be reproduced without permission)
Email and Forwarded Message from Mark Stackhouse
Here's a note from the local folks about the Ivory-billed and the IBA
program there. It's especially of interest to anyone who wants to try to
see this bird, as it has a link to information about where to go to see
it. Apparently there are certain areas off-limits, but they have
designated sites where the bird has been seen that birders can go to
look for it.
-------------- Forwarded Message: --------------
From: Dan Scheiman <birddan@COMCAST.NET>
Subject: The Ivory-billed and the IBA
Date: Fri, 29 Apr 2005 16:28:06 +0000
Little did I know when I moved to Arkansas three weeks ago to become
Audubon Arkansas’ Bird Conservation Director that an Ivory-billed
Woodpecker would be found in the state. It is lucky for me, and
especially lucky for Arkansas. It is also good that the area where the
species was found has already been declared an Important Bird Area by
Audubon – The Cache-Lower White Rivers IBA. The adjacent Bayou DeView,
where sightings have occurred, also is an IBA. The IBA program was
established to identify and monitor sites that harbor birds of
conservation interest, significant numbers of birds, and their habitat.
The finding of this woodpecker suggests that the IBA program is
successfully identifying such sites. And now the Cache-Lower White
Rivers IBA is not only a state IBA but a GLOBAL IBA – that is something
Arkansans can be proud of!
We are all eager to see this bird and add it to our lifelist, but I
encourage restraint; too many birders out there at once could disturb
the bird. We should all promote the American Birding Associations code
of conduct among birders and non-birders alike. The Cache River NWR
personnel have declared 5,000 acres off limits to the public, but have
also suggested other areas where the bird may be viewed. For more
information, including a map, see http://www.fws.gov/cacheriver/
More about the IBA program
The Important Bird Areas program is the focal point for Audubon’s bird
conservation work. It is a global effort to identify areas most
important for bird populations, and to focus conservation efforts on
those sites. The foundation of the IBA program is its emphasis on
science-based identification, monitoring and conservation of birds and
the habitats they need to survive. The Important Bird Areas Program
starts with the foundation of site identification and prioritization for
conservation action. It relies on local stewardship and at the core
focuses on engaging individuals, private landowners, local communities,
and government agencies. The result is a network of IBAs
with a community of support working to conserve, restore, and maintain
bird habitats. Audubon chapters and volunteers constitute a true team of
IBA citizen scientists, studying species population trends, assessing
breeding success, evaluating threats to bird populations, and keeping
ever-watchful eyes on the places birds depend on. These places can be
National Wildlife Refuges, National Parks and other public, protected
lands, but they can
also be private farms, ranches, or reserves, local parks, and other
important private lands.
A form for nominating your favorite birding area as an IBA can be found
at Audubon Arkansas’ website www.ar.audubon.org
Dan Scheiman, Ph.D.
Bird Conservation Director, Audubon Arkansas
201 East Markham St., Suite 450
Little Rock, AR 72201
Response to above by Dave Rintoul
Perhaps a better approach would be to donate the money you might spend
on a trip to Arkansas to the Nature Conservancy, the Cornell Laboratory
of Ornithology, or Audubon. You would even put it into a savings account
that might allow your children to go to Arkansas in a few decades, when
the population(s) of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers are large enough to not be
affected by too many humans. Or spend the money to travel to someplace
else wher the bird has been reported in the past few decades, and see if
you can help find another population. All of these things would help
ensure that your kids might get to see the bird someday.
The birds apparently did OK for 60+ years without us; I think we should
give them about 60 more. Don't get me wrong; I'd love to see one myself.
But the ego gratification of having that bird on my personal life list
is not worth the very real risk that we will now "love them to death".
We don't know enough about this population; if there are only a couple
of birds or a couple of pairs, they probably don't need more humans in
the area. This is surely one case where birders can see that it is
better to err on the side of caution, and put aside personal desires
vis-a-vis their life lists.
And, as noted above, if you have the money to travel to Arkansas, there
might be better ways to spend it.
Dave Rintoul, Ph.D.
Currently on sabbatical leave at the University of Utah
Response to above by Mark Stackhouse
I agree completely with Dave's thoughts on this. Hopefully the
individual found does not represent a lone remnant individual like the
last female in the Singer tract in Louisiana in the 40's. We would all
like to see this bird return to a viable population that makes it
possible for birders of many generations to see. Certainly contributions
to the organizations mentioned may help. It has been mentioned as well
by those involved in the conservation efforts that the help of birders
in finding other areas that have also Ivory-billed Woodpeckers would be
most welcome. However, I would not want to heap guilt upon those birders
who wish to try and see this bird (please understand that for my part I
don't plan on going), as long as they
obey the rules laid out by the management team and observe the highest
standards of birding ethics. If you look at the map and read the
management restrictions, you can see that there has been considerable
thought put into how to make the area available to birders who want to
try for the bird (while also being frank about how slim the chances are
of seeing one) without compromising the survival of the species.
One element in the conservation effort that has been ignored in the
discussions I've seen so far is the role of the local people. The
conservation of this species will not be accomplished through the
efforts of the government agencies and conservation organizations alone.
There are people living there, who make their living from the land,
often with practices that conflict with the goal of ensuring the
survival of this species. After all, that is why the bird was pushed to
the brink of extinction in the first place. The local people will be
asked to make very real sacrifices to save this bird. They will be asked
to sell their land, reforest land they currently farm, allow flooding in
places where it is now controlled, and accept new restrictions on the
use of public lands they used to enjoy freely. All this may come with no
tangible benefit to them. There is a very real chance that what now
appears to be some local pride over the finding of this bird could
quickly change to resentment. Without the continued cooperation of the
locals in the conservation efforts, these efforts will fail. We see much
the same situation right here in Utah with the Gunnison Sage-Grouse in
San Juan County, where conservation efforts are hampered by indifference
and antipathy of the local landowners.
The economic boost that responsible birding tourism can bring to the
area would go a long way to ensure that the local people stay firmly
behind the efforts to save the Ivory-billed Woodpecker. If all birders
stay away, what then?
If you have other information
to add to this "on-going" feature article, please send it to the