Researchers in Pennsylvania have reportedly just spotted a bird that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was considering declaring extinct because its last “unchallenged” sighting came all the way back in 1944, according to reports.
In an incredible finding, researchers with the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, claim that they have captured images of the ivory-billed woodpecker — called an “iconic species” — on motion-activated trail cameras that they placed in Louisiana. The group reportedly recorded the birds in “bottomland hardwood forests.”
They also reportedly used drones in 2019 to scan the treetops for the birds and their techniques reportedly returned “numerous images” of the woodpeckers.
“You have very scarce birds that tend to be very high up in the canopy in dense forests and they’re very hard to document, and that is a great achievement that we’ve been able to get the imagery,” one of the co-authors of the study, Mark Michaels, reportedly said.
Per the report, the fact that the photos were not high quality because of the distances they were being taken from, the group has faced some scrutiny.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service suggested declaring the bird extinct in September of 2021, but the group from the National Avary has told them to pump the brakes on that.
“We’re very confident in our research and in the data and our interpretation of the data that we’ve gathered over many years,” Steve Latta, another of the co-authors, reportedly said.
Even so, while it looks like the birds are still here, they still face hurdles if they are to make a full comeback. They already are believed to have a small population and a shrinking habitat of old growth forests.
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