The Search For The Ivory Billed Woodpecker Continues - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro, AR -- Lauren Payne Reports

The Search For The Ivory Billed Woodpecker Continues

Jonesboro, AR -- "The last verified spotting was in 43 or 44 in Northeast Louisiana and since then there have been tantalizing possible glimpes," said Arkansas State University's Ken Levenstein. 

Levenstein is working toward his Ph.D and is a self proclaimed "birder".

Those tantalizing possible glimpses from over 60 years ago and a more recent possible sighting in an east Arkansas swamp have since had the bird world a-flutter that maybe just maybe the ivory billed woodpecker does exist.

"Unfortunately, there's not been any evidence that has convinced everyone," said Levenstein.

In this Arkansas swamp lined with 800 year old trees nestled in the heart of the delta so much attention is focused.

"I do believe that was an ivory billed woodpecker.  I don't know what happened to it, why it was there, or why it's not there now, but I do believe that certainly indicates there could be others," said Levenstein.

"If there's not, there's not, and it would be a tragedy," said Levenstein.

Some would argue a multi million dollar tragedy, but other researchers are convinced they spotted the elusive creature.

Now, tens of millions will be spent trying to determine if the ivory billed woodpecker really does exist.  

"A lot of that money is going to preserve that land for your children, my children and grandchildren and for people who like to duck hunt, or birdwatch, and really everybody," said Levenstein. 

Researchers and birders are now desperate to find some hard evidence to prove this multi million dollar tax payers' investment will be fruitful and a revered bird will finally be found......  

"You need pictures, film, videos or even better you need to find a nest.....otherwise it's just hear say," said Levenstein.

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