Researchers claim to discover once-thought extinct ivory billed woodpecker

Researchers say they have detected the ivory-billed woodpecker.
Credit: Photo by Arthur A. Allen, 1935, watercolored by Jerry A. Payne, USDA -Agricultural Research Service

After a three-year pursuit of the ivory-billed woodpecker in Louisiana, researchers say they have discovered that the species, once thought to be extinct, is still around. The team used visual observations, audio recordings, trail cameras and drones to detect the birds. The researchers said the birds in the photos had the unique markings of the woodpecker, including white edges to its wings and males with red crests on their heads, was the right size to be an ivory-billed woodpecker, and had same call. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared the species, which declined steeply in 19th century due to overhunting and habitat loss, as endangered last year. Researchers think the birds were evading observers. The research on these findings has not yet been peer-reviewed.

Read the article in The Guardian.

This article’s title was updated on 4/27/22 to better reflect the nature of the potential discovery.