Ivory-billed Woodpecker sighting challenged

Steve Manning sdmanning at ASUB.EDU
Sun Jul 24 15:49:48 CDT 2005

I don't know.  I live in Arkansas within 100 miles or so of where it was
supposedly sighted.  It won't surprise me if no one sees it
again.  Unfortunately, like so many situations, the main effect of all this
is likely to be all sorts of visitors to the area, and by now people in all
sorts of niches have a vested interest in keeping this high-profile.  It
almost seems as if the uncertainty adds to the excitement and if they
capture one or otherwise equally confirm its existence, the interest level
is likely to die down.  This type of activity, associated tourism, and
other economic and educational stimuli are in fact likely to economically
benefit a very depressed area- the Arkansas delta - which I guess is good
as far as it goes.  It hasn't developed economically otherwise so maybe
this is a good result.

I sure wish people were as enthusiastic about preserving ecosystems
generally as they are about preserving charismatic single species.  If
indeed the ivory billed woodpecker still exists it will, from my
perspective, be only one fringe benefit of the ecosystem preservation that
was done many years ago and hopefully will continue.  Preserving ecosystems
elsewhere on earth will no doubt also have rewards as great as, or greater
than, preserving single species therein!

Steve Manning

   At 09:42 PM 7/22/2005 -0500, you wrote:
>Dear All,
>       According to some researchers, the bird in the Arkansas video may
> be a pileated woodpecker, not an ivory-billed woodpecker.  Are the video
> images really clear enough to tell for sure?  Should be interesting to
> read the published article and the rebuttal by those who stand by the
> ivory-billed identification.  I wonder what the chances are that someone
> will get a better look at this bird in the very near future?

Dr. Steve Manning
Arkansas State University--Beebe
Mathematics and Science
Professor of Biology
P.O. Box 1000
Beebe, AR  72012
Phone: 501-882-8203
Fax: 501-882-4437

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