Draft Recovery Plan Released for Rare Woodpecker

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A plan by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for preventing the extinction of the elusive ivory-billed woodpecker could cost more than $27 million over five years.

The agency has released a draft of the recovery and is taking public comment until October 22.  The plan would be funded by Fish and Wildlife money.

The 185-page plan outlines habitat needs and future conservation efforts aimed at protecting the woodpecker.

The woodpecker was thought to already be extinct but was reportedly spotted by Cornell University researchers in 2004 in an eastern Arkansas swamp.  Researchers and birders have since convered on the Cache River Wildlife Managment Area hoping to spot the huge bird and hear its distinct double-rapping.

Researchers have also reported spotting an ivory-billed woodpecker in a northwest Florida swamp.

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