LITTLE ROCK -- After reviewing evidence of the ivory-billed woodpecker
gathered in the
Cache River National Wildlife Refuge beginning in April 2004, the Bird
Records Committee of the Arkansas Audubon Society has voted to change the
status of the bird in Arkansas from "extirpated" to "present."
Max Parker, longtime curator for the Arkansas Audubon Society, received
verifying documentation for the extraordinary record from a member of the
research team. The documentation was studied at length by all members of
the Arkansas Bird Records Committee before the record was accepted.
The Arkansas Audubon Society, which was organized in 1955, has compiled
bird records since its inception. All sightings of species unusual or
unexpected in Arkansas must be fully documented (preferably including
photographs or videos) and submitted for review by the bird records
committee. At least four of the five committee members must vote for
acceptance before the sightings become part of the official record.
One of the objectives of the Arkansas Audubon Society has been to
contribute to the knowledge of birds in Arkansas through the permanent
maintenance of bird records for the state. The Arkansas Bird Records
Committee, chaired by the Arkansas Audubon Society curator, is responsible
for determining the validity of reports of birds in Arkansas that are rare
in the state, difficult to identify, or seen out of season.
Noteworthy records that have been accepted by the ABRC appear in the
curator's report, published each quarter in the society's newsletter,
Arkansas Birds, and also in North American Birds, the publication of record
for distribution of birds in the entire continent. The ABRC also maintains
and periodically publishes the official Arkansas state bird list.
More information is available online at www.ARBIRDS.org.