Ivory Billed Woodpecker- Dead or Alive?

Ivory Billed Woodpecker

Ambience: Ivory Billed Woodpecker
The sounds of a bird we may never see or hear of again. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Barrow: The Ivory Billed Woodpecker is the largest woodpecker native to North America that inhabited the bottomland forests of the southeastern United States.

Mark Barrow is a professor of history at Virginia Tech.

Barrow: It was a species that was not much was known about until the 1930s, and by that point it had already reached very low levels. The National Audubon Society basically sponsored a study of the the Ivory Billed Woodpecker that was undertaken by an individual named James Tanner. He spent 3 years doing this extensive survey of bottomland forests across the southeastern United States, places where the IB had been known to exist, either through specimens or sightings or previous records.
He travelled something like 40,000 miles on a Model A Ford. He canoed, he hiked, he took horses, did this extensive survey and didn’t find any Ivory Billed Woodpeckers, except for in one place in Louisiana, this 80,000 acre tract called the Singer Tract, and he found 6 individuals that he was able to study; He watched them on their nesting cavities, he took pictures. He discovered that the demise of the Ivory Billed populations could be linked directly to clearcutting of these bottomland forests. And he discovered what this creature allegedly ate which was a larvae of a beetle that only existed in mature forests. That was the reason for its demise basically.

So there have been repeated claims of sightings of the Ivory Billed Woodpecker, including most recently in 2004 and 2005. There have been a lot of credible sightings of this thing but there’s still no definitive proof that it exists.

I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Ivory Billed Woodpecker- Dead or Alive?

Is the largest woodpecker in North America truly extinct?
Air Date:08/04/2017
Scientist:
Transcript:

Ivory Billed Woodpecker

Ambience: Ivory Billed Woodpecker
The sounds of a bird we may never see or hear of again. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Barrow: The Ivory Billed Woodpecker is the largest woodpecker native to North America that inhabited the bottomland forests of the southeastern United States.

Mark Barrow is a professor of history at Virginia Tech.

Barrow: It was a species that was not much was known about until the 1930s, and by that point it had already reached very low levels. The National Audubon Society basically sponsored a study of the the Ivory Billed Woodpecker that was undertaken by an individual named James Tanner. He spent 3 years doing this extensive survey of bottomland forests across the southeastern United States, places where the IB had been known to exist, either through specimens or sightings or previous records.
He travelled something like 40,000 miles on a Model A Ford. He canoed, he hiked, he took horses, did this extensive survey and didn't find any Ivory Billed Woodpeckers, except for in one place in Louisiana, this 80,000 acre tract called the Singer Tract, and he found 6 individuals that he was able to study; He watched them on their nesting cavities, he took pictures. He discovered that the demise of the Ivory Billed populations could be linked directly to clearcutting of these bottomland forests. And he discovered what this creature allegedly ate which was a larvae of a beetle that only existed in mature forests. That was the reason for its demise basically.

So there have been repeated claims of sightings of the Ivory Billed Woodpecker, including most recently in 2004 and 2005. There have been a lot of credible sightings of this thing but there's still no definitive proof that it exists.

I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.