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Hunters helped save rare bird from extinction
Reuters via Yahoo News ^ | 12/13/2005 | Deborah Zabarenko

Posted on 12/13/2005 9:21:18 AM PST by Rio

A hunting lodge with antler chandeliers and stuffed ducks on the walls seems a strange place to celebrate the comeback of the ivory-billed woodpecker, but wildlife officials are doing exactly that.

They credit hunters in particular with helping bring the rare bird back from presumed extinction in the Big Woods section of Arkansas.

"The people of Arkansas, the hunting and fishing community, conserved these woods," Scott Simon of The Nature Conservancy told reporters on Monday at the Mallard Pointe Lodge, where a coalition of environmentalists, academics and wildlife officials rejoiced in woodpecker's return to the living.

Simon said hunters and others helped save the bird in large part by buying Duck Stamps, at $15 each. These stamps are not for postage, but pay for a federal migratory bird conservation fund, and eventually added up to $41 million to reclaim much of the habitat of the endangered woodpecker.

"The $41 million went into the land before the ivory bill showed up," Simon said.

The ivory-billed woodpecker was believed extinct for the last 60 years, and various reports of sightings of the big bird -- jet black and bright white with a red crest on the male -- were dismissed by professional ornithologists.

Their scepticism was warranted because of the destruction of the big old trees over much of the American southeast that began after the U.S. Civil War. The ivory bill's large size, with a body perhaps 20 inches (50 cm) long means it needs large trees to nest in. It is known to scale the bark off old, dying and dead trees to get at the cigar-sized grubs that live there.

550,000 ACRES OF FOREST

But that was before an amateur naturalist said he saw one while paddling in the Cache River National Wildlife Refuge in February 2004. When he brought two bird experts to the same spot, they saw it too. And when a professor captured the bird in flight in fuzzy but authentic video, an analysis of all the data pointed to the startling fact that the ivory bill was back.

The ivory bill's public rediscovery last April energized a massive search in eastern Arkansas. Starting in November, teams of paid experts and volunteers have been scouring the Big Woods for signs of the bird.

In this, too, hunters are allies, according to Scott Henderson, director of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

"The deer hunter and the duck hunter out there are some of the best eyes and ears we've got," Henderson said. "We have 7,000 hunters in this same area for eight hours at a time or more in some cases."

Good observers are essential to catching a glimpse of the camera-shy ivory bill. So far, some 20,000 hours of searching by dozens of trained observers have failed to spot the bird. But that is understandable, given each woodpecker's presumed 12 mile (20 km) foraging range. Experts do not know how many ivory-billed woodpeckers might exist in this area.

The total search area in Arkansas takes in 550,000 acres (222,600 hectares) of forest and swamp. Since last year, searchers have covered about 160 square kilometers (62 square miles).

Henderson acknowledged that hunters were concerned at first that the urge to protect the woodpecker's habitat would limit access to hunting areas, but he said this has not happened.

Game officials want to avoid what Henderson called a "spotted owl situation" -- the clash of interests that occurred in the 1980s between wildlife preservationists and loggers in the U.S. northwest over protecting the small bird.


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; US: Arkansas
KEYWORDS: ecoping; endangered; hunters; hunting; ornithology; woodpecker

1 posted on 12/13/2005 9:21:19 AM PST by Rio
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To: Rio

The Ivory billed woodpecker is known as the "God bird", bevcause those who see it say, "Oh, my God..". Hopefully someone will post some pics..


2 posted on 12/13/2005 9:28:38 AM PST by ken5050 (Ann Coulter needs to have children ASAP to pass on her gene pool....any volunteers?)
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To: ken5050

3 posted on 12/13/2005 9:31:10 AM PST by Slicksadick (Go out on a limb........Its where the fruit is.)
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To: Slicksadick

Thanks...it's spectacular..can you imagine being in the woods and seeing one..


4 posted on 12/13/2005 9:34:52 AM PST by ken5050 (Ann Coulter needs to have children ASAP to pass on her gene pool....any volunteers?)
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To: Rio

And how long before the enviralists screw the hunters by closing off access to the area?


5 posted on 12/13/2005 9:38:23 AM PST by Redcloak ("If you can't say something nice about someone, then you must be talking about Hillary Clinton.")
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To: Rio

The Common Ivory Skinned Pudwhacker

6 posted on 12/13/2005 9:43:20 AM PST by LexBaird ("I'm not questioning your patriotism, I'm answering your treason."--JennysCool)
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To: Rio

That is one good-looking bird!

Funny how it was extinct for so long...


7 posted on 12/13/2005 9:44:21 AM PST by Rio (Don't make me come over there....)
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To: Rio

That is one good-looking bird!

Funny how it was extinct for so long...


8 posted on 12/13/2005 9:44:21 AM PST by Rio (Don't make me come over there....)
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To: Rio

What surprised me about this article is that it recognized the vital role outdoorsmen play in conservation. I couldn't believe it was coming from Reuters.


9 posted on 12/13/2005 9:44:34 AM PST by Southside_Chicago_Republican (Just say "No" to Judy Baar Topinka)
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To: SJackson

Thought you might be interested in this thread on the outdoors, hunting, and conservation


10 posted on 12/13/2005 9:48:00 AM PST by indcons
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To: Rio

Hunters/Hunting Orgs. give more money for the conservation of wetlands, etc. then any other group out there. Evirowhackos included.


11 posted on 12/13/2005 9:51:55 AM PST by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: Rio

I wonder if PETA has just one story that even approaches the success of this program. This shows what rational, logical thought and techniques can accomplish. Meanwhile PETA is euthanizing dogs and protesting KFC.


12 posted on 12/13/2005 9:51:57 AM PST by Space Wrangler
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To: ken5050
I said the same thing the first time I saw a pileated woodpecker. That's one big bird!


13 posted on 12/13/2005 9:52:32 AM PST by Ladysmith ((NRA, SAS) Support Zien's PPA/CCW bill in Wisconsin.)
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To: Rio

Great news. What a handsome bird!


14 posted on 12/13/2005 9:52:35 AM PST by manwiththehands ("Have a RamaHanuKwanzMas" - Glenn Beck (And Merry Christmas!) (... and "Happy Holidays!"))
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To: Rio; Carry_Okie
various reports of sightings of the big bird -- jet black and bright white with a red crest on the male -- were dismissed by professional ornithologists.

Of course.

15 posted on 12/13/2005 9:55:03 AM PST by FOG724 (http://nationalgrange.org/legislation/phpBB2/index.php)
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To: Ladysmith

I have a pair in my backyard..the sound they make early in the morning is like a hammer...what a racket..


16 posted on 12/13/2005 9:55:30 AM PST by ken5050 (Ann Coulter needs to have children ASAP to pass on her gene pool....any volunteers?)
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To: Southside_Chicago_Republican

Here is a google search on the author:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=Deborah+Zabarenko&btnG=Search


17 posted on 12/13/2005 9:55:45 AM PST by PeterPrinciple (Seeking the truth here folks.)
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To: HairOfTheDog

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1539599/posts?page=13#13


18 posted on 12/13/2005 9:57:49 AM PST by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: Rio

I saw one in Stevenson, AL on a backwater of the Tennessee river in the spring of 1989. Everyone has told me I was wrong; it couldn't have been an ivory-bill.


19 posted on 12/13/2005 10:03:19 AM PST by Jemian (Santa is wearing desert camouflage and delivering freedom in Iraq. ~ Sgt. Joshua Howser)
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To: Rio

This is great news. So much for the hunters are bad theory. On another note: "cigar sized grubs"? YYUUUCCKKK!!!!! EEEWWWW!!!!


20 posted on 12/13/2005 10:14:32 AM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: Ladysmith
This is proof once again that if you wish to preserve wildlife or open spaces, you put sportsmen in charge of that, not enviro-twits!
21 posted on 12/13/2005 10:21:57 AM PST by Beagle8U (An "Earth First" kinda guy ( when we finish logging here, we'll start on the other planets.)
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To: LexBaird

The first time that Arkansas, pecker and Bill were used in a sentence and it was not about the 42nd President.


22 posted on 12/13/2005 1:02:53 PM PST by oldtimer2 (Liberal: a power worshipper without power....George Orwell)
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To: Iowa Granny; Ladysmith; Diana in Wisconsin; JLO; sergeantdave; damncat; MozartLover; ...

If you'd like to be on or off this new (maybe) Upper Midwest (WI, IA, MN, MI, and anyone else) list, largely rural issues, please FR mail me. And ping me is you see articles of interest.


23 posted on 12/13/2005 1:26:18 PM PST by SJackson (There's no such thing as too late, that's why they invented death. Walter Matthau)
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To: Beagle8U; billhilly; Diana in Wisconsin

That has been proven over and over. Hunters are the original conservationists, and the most successful, but the press rarely reports this.


24 posted on 12/13/2005 2:54:35 PM PST by girlangler (I'd rather be fishing)
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To: Rio
Ivory Billed Woodpecker soup is great followed by fillet of Sperm Whale and stewed prunes to cleanse the gullet...
25 posted on 12/13/2005 2:59:45 PM PST by Bender2 (Even dirty old robots need love!)
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To: Rio; GreenFreeper

Good to hear. Any time I read something like this, it makes me that much more annoyed at the anti-hunting crowd.


26 posted on 12/13/2005 2:59:45 PM PST by proud_yank ("The government dole will rot your soul" --Stan Rogers, 'The Idiot')
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To: Ladysmith
I said the same thing the first time I saw a pileated woodpecker. That's one big bird!

Loud too! They always make me jump if they start tapping as I'm walking close by in the woods.
27 posted on 12/13/2005 3:02:33 PM PST by proud_yank ("The government dole will rot your soul" --Stan Rogers, 'The Idiot')
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To: girlangler

Lets give the Clintons credit for something. They gave the bird to Arkansas.


28 posted on 12/13/2005 3:15:16 PM PST by billhilly (Demo cammo is yellow and white)
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To: proud_yank

proud_yank,

All the anti hunting organizations do is raise money. You'll not find them contributing to habitat restoration like hunters.

Are you familiar with the Pittman/Roberson Act and the money raised by hunters since the 1930s? Hunters have raised billions and much of that goes to purchase wildlife refuges, etc. Hunters paid for all the wildlife refuges, yet the big AR and green organizations tried to kick hunters off the refuges back in the 1990s; these groups filed lawsuits attempting to do just that.

Rarely do you read about these contributions outside of hunting/fishing media. The MSM would have you believe hunters are just killing all the wildlife. Contributions like this don't usually make the news, but let three PETA girls get naked and it makes headlines in all the MSM.


29 posted on 12/13/2005 3:43:21 PM PST by girlangler (I'd rather be fishing)
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To: ken5050
those who see it say, "Oh, my God..".

Actually the more common name among Southern people was "Lord-God". My father, born 1893, knew this name, and I think he applied it to the pileated woodpecker, which is still fairly common in north Louisiana. It's very similar to the ivory bill but is smaller and has less white on the wings. I have a few on my place in the woods, and they used to irritate me bacause their call sounds like the old mechanical-ringer telephone (at least, to me).

30 posted on 12/13/2005 3:54:45 PM PST by 19th LA Inf
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To: blam; Carry_Okie; Chanticleer; ClearCase_guy; cogitator; CollegeRepublican; ...
ECO-PING

FReepmail me to be added or removed to the ECO-PING list!

Responsible hunters and fishermen are owed a great debt from those that enjoy the outdoors and wildlife!

31 posted on 12/13/2005 3:56:24 PM PST by GreenFreeper (Not blind opposition to progress, but opposition to blind progress)
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To: GreenFreeper

But I thought all hunters will kill bambi. After I was married eons ago, I had to put my rifles in moth balls never to be used again.


32 posted on 12/13/2005 4:08:28 PM PST by Marine_Uncle (Honor must be earned)
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To: Slicksadick

I saw one of these in my woods in west Tennessee 2 years ago.


33 posted on 12/13/2005 4:16:56 PM PST by DonnerT (New Orleans: A microcosm of the world without God.)
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To: Rio
Woody Woodpecker ping.

"HahahaHAha"!

34 posted on 12/13/2005 4:25:47 PM PST by manwiththehands ("Have a RamaHanuKwanzMas" - Glenn Beck (And Merry Christmas!) (... and "Happy Holidays!"))
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To: GreenFreeper
Responsible hunters and fishermen are owed a great debt from those that enjoy the outdoors and wildlife!

That's arguable, because the evidence for the bird's existence is, so far, beyond sketchy, not to mention that all the hooplaa is providing TNC cover when they are trying to cut off a 1,000 farmers from getting water in order to make their 200,000 acres of land easier to take.

From the article: Good observers are essential to catching a glimpse of the camera-shy ivory bill. So far, some 20,000 hours of searching by dozens of trained observers have failed to spot the bird.

Good observers have failed to find the bird for over 60 years. There's an article out on this story you should read. When it comes online I'll post it to this thread.

Here are some facts:

The TNC and Cornell delayed announcement of the sighting for over a year. That delayed getting credible ornithologists in the area to find the bird before it moved. Such a delay is an EXTREMELY unusual practice among birders.

The authors and the "peer reviewers" of the article describing the sightings were comprised ENTIRELY of people directly employed or on the board of directors of the TNC. Virtually all of them stand to gain financially from the grant money to aid "recovery."

The only documentation of the "sighting" is an audio tape of the supposed double rap of the bird and a video tape that is as suggestive as pictures of bigfoot. Even Cornell ornithologists admit this is "sketchy evidence."

So far, $20 million has been spent on "recovery" of a species that hasn't been confirmed to exist.

If anybody but an environmental "scientist" hustled that kind of money with a profit interest and came up dry, they'd end up in the slammer for fraud. I am not saying that it's impossible for the bird to exist. It is however, extremely unlikely. There is good reason for skepticism about this story.

35 posted on 12/13/2005 4:28:38 PM PST by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are REALLY stupid.)
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To: Carry_Okie

Thank you for telling it like it is. I expressed considerable reservation about this when it was announced, and was roundly criticized by the environmentalist on that group. I suspect all of the adulation for hunters is to try to get support for even more money. To me the smell of fish is even stronger than it was a year ago.


36 posted on 12/13/2005 4:44:47 PM PST by midwyf
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To: girlangler
girlangler,

Anti-capitalism and socialism seems to be the theme of all 'mainstream' AR and enviro groups now. I can only imagine the money they roll in as tax-exempt too! At their rallies, you see far more anti-Bush/corporate/capitalist... nonsense than pro-animals/environment.

They love to tie everything up in the courts as well to spur their cause, if they aren't out firebombing or chaining themselves to something instead. For example: Activists plan to sue U.S. to protect polar bears

Groups like Ducks & Trout Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, etc. do far more in terms of conservation than any 'enviro' group. They have to, in order to keep their hobby or outdoor business alive. (Somehow, that common logic seems to be lost on the radical masses ;-) )

There is a multi-use park that I hunt just east of Edmonton, but it is also open to hikers and equestrians. There is a push to have hunters banned from the park, yet excise taxes on licenses, ammo, etc pay for 100% of the park. The hikers and equestrians don't pay a dime, yet gripe about the people who fund the land they are enjoying. (Horseback riders tend to yell the most, 'Gunshots scare horses....').

I had a woman give me grief when I was hunting grouse, she tried telling me that hunting hours end at 11 am there. I don't recall writing 'stupid' on my forehead, but she may have seen it somehow. I was cordial and I told her that she had been misinformed. Still got the 'evil glare' as she passed by. Unfortunately, the reality is that these people manage to find a way to win in the courts. That is about the only way a radical liberal agenda has a chance is through the courts.

I'm not familiar with the Pittman/Roberson Act, I'll have to do some reading! I would bet though that when it comes to govt. spending, that conservation (rangers, land use, etc) is probably more efficient than other spending.

Hunters will never get any positive press, unless it is Kerry holding a shotgun that isn't his, and a goose he probably didn't shoot. I wonder how many 'giggles' have to be edited out before PETA girls make the pages. Girls of the NRA??? LOL! Doubt it!
37 posted on 12/13/2005 4:46:08 PM PST by proud_yank ("The government dole will rot your soul" --Stan Rogers, 'The Idiot')
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To: Carry_Okie; GreenFreeper
Responsible hunters and fishermen are owed a great debt from those that enjoy the outdoors and wildlife!

This article may be debateable, but on average, hunters and fishermen are very valuable to the outdoors and pay many excise taxes that go directly to conservation.
38 posted on 12/13/2005 4:50:15 PM PST by proud_yank ("The government dole will rot your soul" --Stan Rogers, 'The Idiot')
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To: proud_yank
This article may be debateable, but on average, hunters and fishermen are very valuable to the outdoors and pay many excise taxes that go directly to conservation.

Of that there is no doubt.

39 posted on 12/13/2005 4:53:30 PM PST by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are REALLY stupid.)
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To: Rio

Video of latest sighting here (click on third photo on page, next to "News Release":

http://www.birds.cornell.edu/ivory/multimedia/videos

(That's NOT a pileated woodpecker. We have pileateds up here in southern New Hampshire, and they've flown really close by me several times. The ivory-billed has lots more white in the wings.)


40 posted on 12/13/2005 8:25:44 PM PST by LibFreeOrDie (L'chaim!)
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To: GreenFreeper
View images associated with this case.

Abstract to the Cornell team's "peer reviewed" paper.

The TNC lawsuit to keep farmers from getting water is supposedly at this URL, but I don't give the WaPo my data: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/08AR2005090802289.html.

41 posted on 12/13/2005 9:56:11 PM PST by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are REALLY stupid.)
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To: GreenFreeper
View images associated with this case.

Abstract to the Cornell team's "peer reviewed" paper.

The TNC lawsuit to keep farmers from getting water is supposedly at this URL, but I don't give the WaPo my data: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/08AR2005090802289.html.

42 posted on 12/13/2005 10:01:16 PM PST by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are REALLY stupid.)
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To: LibFreeOrDie
The ivory-billed has lots more white in the wings

Like these?


43 posted on 12/13/2005 10:33:17 PM PST by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are REALLY stupid.)
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