January 13th, 2009 by Alex Felsinger
Get out some binoculars and a video camera: if you can find an Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, you could be $50,000 richer.
The Nature Conservancy has had enough. They’ve been searching for an Ivory-Billed Woodpecker in Alabama ever since 2004 when a video of one surfaced on the internet in 2004, but despite having the best bird trackers on their side, they’ve had no luck.
You might also want to grab a plane ticket, unless you already live in Alabama. The only known habitat for the woodpecker is the Big Woods of Arkansas, a huge bottomland hardwood forest and one of the last floodplain forests lining the Mississippi. In 1989, the floodplain forests were designated by the United Nations’ Ramsar Convention as a “Wetland of International Importance.”
For the past three years, The Nature Conservancy, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission have funded and coordinated searches for the bird in the Big Woods without turning up any trace. The illusive animal has quickly become the “holy grail” for birdwatchers.
Photo Credit: The Nature Conservatory
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