Wildlife Federation Capitalizes on Woodpecker Discovery

MAY 18, 2005 - Posted at 4:02 p.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The Arkansas Wildlife Federation is trying to capitalize on the discovery of the ivory-billed woodpecker in the forests of eastern Arkansas by selling t-shirts.

The aquatic blue shirt features a color drawing of the rare bird by Arkansas Democrat-Gazette cartoonist John Deering.  The nonprofit federation is producing the shirts for its membership and fundraising drive.

Contributors receive membership and one shirt for $25 and the proceeds help the federation protect fish and wildlife habitat in Arkansas, conservation and other initiatives.

The rediscovery of the woodpecker, which was thought extinct since 1993, has already spurred growth in the local tourist trade and yielded a $10 million investment from the Interior Department.

The Wildlife Federation has also used the discover as leverage in its lawsuit against the Army Corps of Engineers' White River irrigation project.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)