Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Ivorybill Search: Across the Pascagoula: Otter Pond and Beyond

http://www.ibwos.blogspot.com/2015/09/across-pascagoula-otter-pond-and-beyond.html

http://www.ibwos.blogspot.com/2015/09/across-pascagoula-otter-pond-and-beyond.html

Brian Carlisle and Chris Carlisle maintain a fantastic site called "Kints" which documents their ongoing search for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker in southern Mississippi. Kints (or "kents") refers to the common note or call of the Ivorybill. Chris Carlisle recently did a great post describing their search of the Pascagoula Wildlife Management Area. It includes over six dozen photographs, two of which are posted here, with permission.

Reading through the post along with seeing so many beautiful photos of the forest that the Carlisles searched transported me back to the very special times that I found myself lucky enough to be searching for the Ivorybill, starting at dawn, in similarly beautiful forests in Florida, Louisiana and South Carolina.

Here's an excerpt from the Carlisle brothers' post that describes the forest:

Beautiful, mature second- and third-growth mixed bottomland hardwood and cypress/tupelo swamp forest, with a path running roughly northeast-southwest.  We decided to follow the path northeastward, and walked through some very nice hardwood forest habitat, with many different types of trees -- swamp chestnut oak, water oak, sycamore, holly, red maple, green ash, magnolia, what I believe to be pignut hickory, and shagbark hickory. 

2 comments:

john said...

It seems that there is some decent Ivory-bill habitat in several areas. Maybe the species can be brought back using new technologies in harvesting genetic material from study skins to re-establish the birds into their former habitats. what are your thoughts on the feasability, or advisability of doing that?

Bill Benish said...

I think it would be wonderful if we arrive at the day when we could use technology to achieve "de-extinction" of select species of animals. There is a lot of discussion about this approach that was depicted in Jurassic World but what's only a fantasy today. See, for example, http://longnow.org/revive/candidates/. As far as I understand it, the DNA retrievable from Ivory-billed Woodpecker skins is old and therefore fragmented, posing a big obstacle. Also, what we know about the biology of Ivorybills is very limited, a fact that would pose another challenge to re-introducing the species even if it were possible by harvesting DNA from skins.

Maybe someday!

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