Ivory-billed Woodpecker

Campephilus principalis

The ivory-billed woodpecker (Campephilus principalis) is a possibly extinct woodpecker that is native to the bottomland hardwood forests and temperate coniferous forests of the Southern United States and Cuba.[a] Habitat destruction and hunting have reduced populations so thoroughly that the species is listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) on its Red List as critically endangered, and by the American Birding Association as "definitely or probably extinct". The last universally accepted sighting of an American ivory-billed woodpecker occurred in Louisiana in 1944, and the last universally accepted sighting of a Cuban ivory-billed woodpecker occurred in 1987, after the bird's rediscovery there the prior year. Sporadic reports of sightings and other evidence of the persistence of the species have continued since then. In the 21st century, reported sightings and analyses of audio and visual recordings were published in peer-reviewed scientific journals as evidence that the species persists in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Florida. Various land purchases and habitat restoration efforts to protect any surviving individuals have been initiated in areas where sightings and other evidence have suggested a relatively high probability the species exists. In September 2021, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed that the species be declared extinct. A virtual public hearing was held on January 26, 2022, and the public comment period ended February 10, 2022. A final decision by the Fish and Wildlife Service was due by September 2022. On July 11, 2022, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced it is extending its review period by 6 months to determine the status of the ivory-billed woodpecker.
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