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Do videos show ivory-billed woodpecker, or could it be extinct?

Do videos show ivory-billed woodpecker, or is it extinct?
A couple of stuffed male and female Ivory-billed Woodpeckers have emerged in a bottomland exhibit on Oct. 30, 2000, at the Louisiana State University Natural Science Museum in Baton Rouge, La. The government has been asked to take into account at the very least two videos manufactured in modern times as evidence that ivory-billed woodpeckers may remain. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said in July 2022, that it had been searching for video or photos that experts could agree showed the bird. Credit: Bill Feig/The Advocate via AP, File

The government has been asked to take into account at the very least two videos manufactured in modern times as evidence that ivory-billed woodpeckers may remain.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said in 2021 that it planned to declare 23 species extinct, including North America’s largest woodpeckeralso dubbed god, the father God bird after an exclamation sometimes created by viewers.

In July, the agency said it had been adding half a year, including per month for public comment, before making a decision whether to declare extinction for the black-bodied bird with black-and-white wings, a 30-inch (76-centimeter) wingspan and a call similar to a bulb bicycle horn. What’s needed, the announcement said, was video or photos that experts could agree showed the bird.

Two videos of black-and-white birds were submitted in July, alongside extracts and extensive video presentations explaining why the contributors believe they show ivory-bills.

However the debateso bitter that it prompted publication of a book this past year about a large number of “thinking errors” on both sidesseems as heated as ever. A University of Kansas ornithologist called the videos laughable.

One is drone footage from the distance, showing a bird flying before trees and landing in a single on Feb. 23, 2021.

“The landing sequence … made me almost shout, ‘Ivory-bill!'” Mark Michaels, founder of Project Principalis, an organization created to seek out live ivory-billed woodpeckers, told Fish and Wildlife officials in a video presentation made July 22 and posted Tuesday in the proposal’s public comment area.

Do videos show ivory-billed woodpecker, or is it extinct?
An ivory-billed woodpecker specimen is on a display at the California Academy of Sciences in SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, Sept. 24, 2021. The government has been asked to take into account at the very least two videos manufactured in modern times as evidence that ivory-billed woodpeckers may remain. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said in July 2022, that it had been searching for video or photos that experts could agree showed the bird. Credit: AP Photo/Haven Daley, File

Mark B. Robbins, ornithology collection manager at the University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute, said the video is indeed poor that it is impossible to inform what’s flying. “It may be anything,” he wrote within an email.

Another is closer, extracted from a canoe, and shows a bird crossing section of a swamp and flying away on Oct. 17, 2020.

“Although my sighting only lasted 9.8 seconds, it had been unmistakable,” said Bobby Harrison, a retired associate professor of photography at Oakwood University, in Huntsville, Alabama, and self-described “independent ivory-bill searcher.”

He noted that the bird in his video flaps its wings considerably faster compared to the lookalike pileated woodpecker, and that it flew about 500 feet (150 meters) through the brief time he watched it. That speed, which he estimated at 35 mph (55 km/h), and its own color pattern identified it, Harrison said.

“It really is quite clear the bird they are calling an Ivory-billed is really a Wood Duck,” Robbins wrote, adding that pausing a slow-motion video implies that it includes a white belly.

The frame involved much more likely shows a wing while watching body, and the submitted shows greater detail compared to the compressed version available online, said Tim Gallagher, former editor-in-chief of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s “Living Bird” magazine and co-presenter of the . As a birder and bird photographer with 30 years of experience, Harrison knows what wood ducks appear to be, he said.

Gallagher and Harrison’s presentation to the agency, made July 18, was posted Monday, the closing day for the general public comment period.

Do videos show ivory-billed woodpecker, or is it extinct?
Moe Flannery, senior collections manager for ornithology & mammalogy at the California Academy of Sciences, holds an ivory-billed woodpecker, among the species within their specimen collection, in SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, on Sept. 24, 2021. The government has been asked to take into account at the very least two videos manufactured in modern times as evidence that ivory-billed woodpeckers may remain. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said in July 2022, that it had been searching for video or photos that experts could agree showed the bird. Credit: AP Photo/Haven Daley, File

The final generally accepted sighting of an ivory-bill was in northeast Louisiana in 1944.

THE GUTS for Biological Diversity, which includes filed numerous lawsuits to obtain federal protection for animals and plants or even to increase protection for all those on endangered or threatened lists, supported a declaration of extinction in a letter dated July 16.

“We urge the Service to check out the very best available science to the right conclusion, finalize its proposed rule to delist the woodpecker predicated on extinction, and redouble its efforts in order that no other species go extinct and suffer the fate of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker,” government affairs director Brett Hartl wrote.

The conservation nonprofit criticized a non-peer-reviewed paper contending that evidence indicates the bird still lives in Louisiana, like the photographs published as a few of that evidence.

“To be blunt, you can find better and much more reliable photographs of Sasquatch going swimming the web than these images of the supposed Ivory-billed Woodpecker,” Hartl wrote.

The Cherokee Nation was among nearly 200 other groups and folks commenting during three separate periods since Sept. 30, 2021.

The bird “is enshrined inside our earliest, pre-contact symbology and their influence on our cultural activities remains even today,” said a letter signed by Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. on Jan. 18.

“THE COUNTRY requests the Service to keep conservation and investigative efforts to make sure the protection of any individuals remaining,” he wrote.



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Citation: Do videos show ivory-billed woodpecker, or could it be extinct? (2022, August 12) retrieved 13 August 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-08-videos-ivory-billed-woodpecker-extinct.html

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