Killing East Arkansas Trees for the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker

AUGUST 5, 2005 - Posted at 7:44 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Conservationists are headed to the woods around Brinkley today to start work on a project that has them killing trees in an effort to help the ivory-billed woodpecker.

Scientists with the Nature Conservancy and the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission are using herbicides to slowly kill small groups of trees in the region.  The hope is that beetles will take up residence in the dead trees and provide a food source for the rare woodpecker.

Scientists say the project is necessary because very few dead trees exist in the area right now.  In an area that averages between 200 and 300 trees per acre scientists say there are about two dead trees per acre.  The woodpecker needs between six and eight dead trees.

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