I don’t know if people outside of the state are aware that we in Arkansas have recently rediscovered the ivory-billed woodpecker (Nancy McCartney, curator of Zoology at the UofA Museum informs me that it is properly Campephilus principalis)–a bird that was thought to have been extinct since the 1940s. I, of course, found it amusing that the code-name that researchers used for the bird prior to a confirmed sighting was “Elvis.” (No, really we’re looking for Elvis….I heard there was an Elvis sighting around here).
Deborah Zabarenko of Reuters did a piece that appeared Dec. 11th on the woodpecker entitled “‘Elvis’ woodpecker draws searchers to Arkansas“..funny enough, but it is a quote in the last portion of the piece that caught my attention….
What happens if they find one?
The first priority is protecting the bird, and treating it if it is injured, Andrew said. That could include closing off the area, he said, though wildlife officials plan to work closely with local communities to avoid cramping their style. So far, he said, local residents had been supportive. Signs describing the ivory-bill have weathered well in Arkansas, Andrew said. “We have signs that were put up in April that have not one bullet hole in them — which is a reflection, I think, of the community’s reaction to the bird.”