One southwest Florida zoologist says he’s “ecstatic”… after learning the Ivory-billed woodpecker is still alive. Dr. Jerry Jackson is a professor at Florida Gulf Coast University and author of the recent book, “In Search of the Ivory Billed Woodpecker.” The bird was thought to be extinct—until several experts recently confirmed sightings in the Big Woods region of southern Arkansas.
The large woodpecker depends on expanses of old-growth forest. Dr. Jackson says if there’s one bird, there are very likely others. And he notes the key to their survival is land preservation.
“The biggest thing we can do is to provide them habitat. Right now, protecting the habitat that we have—and allowing that habitat to mature. This is a bird that probably requires six or seven square miles or more of bottom-land forest hardwoods.”
The Ivory billed woodpecker may also be alive in southwest Florida. Dr. Jackson says in the last 5 years, there have been three reported sightings of the bird at the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve in Collier County. He’s says he simply can’t discount those sightings.
Friday, 29 April 2005 01:00