Jason Koski/University Photography
A sign along the Bayou DeView alerts visitors to keep watch for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker. Copyright © Cornell University
Jason Koski/University Photography
Hickson Lake in the Cache River Wildlife Refuge is one of the areas where researchers have been focusing their efforts in the hunt for the ivory-billed woodpecker. Copyright © Cornell University
Elvis. That is the nickname that Larry Mallard, refuge manager for the White River National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Arkansas, uses for the ivory-billed woodpecker (Campephilus principalis), now being sought in Mallard’s woods by Cornell Lab of Ornithology staffers and volunteers.
Mallard betrays a hint of mixed feelings: He has been managing the area for other endangered species, but only since the woodpecker’s rediscovery has the refuge’s conservation needs received any attention.
"Elvis is the rock star," said Mallard about the elusive woodpecker. "It’s one thing to have endangered species. It’s another thing to have a species that’s been gone for 60 years that reappeared." But he fully appreciates that the bird has brought attention, and could bring money, to the area in an era when national wildlife refuge budgets are low. "You’ve got to take advantage of what comes along."
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