Zeiss Sponsors Search 4 the Ivory-billed Woodpecker

spectr17

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Monday August 6, 11:54 am Eastern Time

SOURCE: Zeiss Sports Optics.

Zeiss Sports Optics Sponsors Search for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker.

30-Day Expedition in Louisiana's Pearl River Area To Launch in Early 2002
CHESTER, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 6, 2001-- Zeiss Sports Optics, a leading manufacturer of sports optics, today announced that it is sponsoring the most extensive search to date for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker in the Pearl River area of Louisiana.

In early 2002, two experienced birders will spend 30 days in the Pearl River's swamps, bayous and forest searching for this elusive, if not extinct, bird. The Zeiss-sponsored search is being planned and coordinated with the help of Dr. Van Remsen, an ornithologist at Louisiana State University and curator of birds at its Museum of Natural Sciences, and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries.

Many experts believe that the American population of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker has been extinct for at least 50 years, but reported sightings have continued, stirring hope that some may have survived the intense deforestation of the past century. The last reported sighting of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker in the Pearl River area occurred in April 1999 when David Kulivan, a forestry student at Louisiana State University, reportedly saw a pair of Ivorybills while he was turkey hunting. Experts, including Dr. Remsen, deem it a very credible report.

``Not only was Kulivan's account very detailed, he described features of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker that are not mentioned in guidebooks - for instance, the way the crest of the female curled forward,'' said Remsen.

``The Ivorybill question - 'Is it extinct or does it actually still exist?' - is an important one to many birders and nature enthusiasts worldwide,'' states Anthony R. Cataldo, vice president and general manager, Carl Zeiss Sports Optics U.S.A. ``If the Ivory-billed Woodpecker does still exist, being at the right place at the right time to document it is a long shot, we know, but it is worth a concentrated effort.''

Many searches have been made in the Pearl River area since April 1999, but none for longer than a 7-day period and most of the effort has been concentrated relatively near the location of the Kulivan sighting.

``Zeiss' commitment to send a team into the Pearl River area for 30 days will enhance the odds of finding the Ivorybills if they are still in existence in the Pearl River area,'' said Remsen. ``Since placing an ad to recruit two experienced birders for the upcoming search, I have heard from birders around the world. There is still a great deal of interest in the Ivory-billed Woodpecker and the debate as to its existence or extinction will likely continue for years unless indisputable video documentation can be made of one of these reported sightings.''

For additional information and links about the Ivory-billed Woodpecker please visit http://www.zeiss.com.

About the Ivory-billed Woodpecker

It is widely believed that the Ivory-billed Woodpecker (Campephilus principalis - ``the princely eater of grubs'') was never a very common bird. Averaging 20 inches tall, with a wingspan of 31 to 33 inches, the Ivorybill made its home primarily in the southeastern and Gulf Coast regions of the United States, where it lived among old-growth river-bottom timberland. Here they would strip bark off of dying trees with their powerful ivory bills to reach the bugs and larvae beneath. These massive trees, so attractive to the Ivorybill, were equally appealing to the timber industry, and it is widely believed that logging led to the extinction, or near extinction, of the bird.

In addition to the American Ivorybill population, biologists also identified another subspecies called Campephilus principalis bairdii, or the Cuban Ivory-billed Woodpecker, and rumors abound that a few still exist in eastern Cuba.

About Zeiss

For more than 156 years, Carl Zeiss has maintained a reputation for leading the evolution of optics to the high-tech precision that outdoorsmen know today. Headquartered in Oberkochen, Germany, the company is a world-renown manufacturer of optics. Zeiss pioneered the development of binoculars in 1894 and continued to build on its strength as an innovator by introducing the world's first roof prism binocular in 1897 and inventing anti-reflection coating in 1935. The U.S. headquarters for the distribution of Zeiss sports optics is located in Chester, Virginia.
 

Tinhorn

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I hope they find that they still exists, wonder if there are any areas where they can be re-introduced?

If they do find them tho, I'll bet thousands of Bird Watchers "Flock" to the area to add the bird to their list and cause possible problems.....Here in  MO. a confirmed Mountain Lion Siting caused hundreds of hunters to take their hounds to the area and over-run the place, hoping to tree the cat.  I believe the Mo. Conservation Depart now keeps confirmed sitings secret because of this.....

Tinhorn
 

Fubar

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I ate one of them ivory-billed woodpeckers last night. It tasted like chicken.         Fubar
 

Eric Mayer

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I hope it is a fruitless search.  Unfortunately, the discovery of this bird will most likely lead to the closure of public land for hunting (of course we can't tell the difference between a turkey and a woodpecker...(sic)).

Eric
 

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