Wednesday, February 10, 2010

More Ivory-Billed Woodpecker News

Nature has published an article on Ivory-billed woodpeckers on their website. The article can be accessed here. A couple of different IBW topics are touched upon in the piece.

One topic the article touches on is the 2005 claim by a team of researchers that they successfully filmed an Ivory-billed woodpecker in the swamps of Arkansas and the frustration biologists are now experiencing trying to locate the bird again as their funding dries up. It seems the hopes of finding and saving the species are fading. Many scientists thought there was a good chance that there was a remnant population of this legendary bird surviving in the swampy bottomlands of the deep South not so long ago. That seems to be changing. "We don't believe a recoverable population of Ivory-billed woodpeckers exists," said Ron Rohrbaugh, a conservation biologist at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, who headed the original Arkansas search team.

The Nature article also mentions the recent claims of Daniel Rainsong. Rainsong, of course, claimed recently to have photographed a living Ivory-billed woodpecker near the Sabine River in southeast Texas. According to the article, Rainsong has filed a formal complaint alleging ethical and financial misconduct by several prominent bird experts. Rainsong claims that these biologists would not come with him to the Sabine River in order to confirm his sighting thus denying him a chance to collect a $50,000 reward.

I have a friend close to this whole mess who says Rainsong's claims are totally false. It is true that the photos were judged to be inconclusive, However, this contact claims that Rainsong was taken very seriously and arrangements were being made with him to visit the sighting location before legal action was taken.

In any case, Ron Rohrbaugh says the Cornell University team will release an analysis of Rainsong's photo in about a week.

I'll be looking forward to that...

1 comment:

  1. And the Ivory Billed Woodpecker Rainsong saga continues.

    Daniel Rainsong is soliciting photography services this upcoming winter on the Houston Craigslist site.