We are not going to see an ivorybill
in our backyards.
Over the past decade, the ivorybill
has become the most famous woodpecker since Woody as professionals and amateurs have sought proof that the giant bird has not become extinct after all.
Science alone cannot assess the diminished quality of a world without the ivorybill
or the Xerces blue.
Shorn of its habitat, the ivorybill declined precipitously in numbers.
The final descent of the ivorybill was closely watched by Roger Tory Peterson, whose classic A Field Guide to the Birds had fired my own interest in birds when I was a teenager.
There is no way to make a full and final valuation of the ivorybill or any other species in the natural world.
Maybe, they speculate, there are a few ivorybills in some inaccessible cove, or deep inside a forgotten swamp, known only to a few close-mouthed cognoscenti.
To maximize the chances of locating an Ivorybill, Dr.
Averaging 20 inches tall, with a wingspan of 31 to 33 inches, the Ivorybill made its home primarily in the southeastern and Gulf Coast regions of the United States, where it lived among old-growth river-bottom timberland.
The Zeiss-sponsored search came about after David Kulivan, a forestry student at Louisiana State University, reportedly saw a pair of Ivorybills while turkey hunting in the Pearl River area in 1999.
In addition to the American Ivorybill population, biologists also identified another subspecies called Campephilus principalis bairdii, or the Cuban Ivory-billed Woodpecker, and rumors abound that a few still exist in eastern Cuba.
The last reported sighting of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker in the Pearl River area occurred in April 1999 when David Kulivan, a forestry student at Louisiana State University, reportedly saw a pair of Ivorybills while he was turkey hunting.
Zeiss' commitment to send a team into the Pearl River area for 30 days will enhance the odds of finding the Ivorybills if they are still in existence in the Pearl River area," said Remsen.