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Ivory-billed Woodpecker Now Official in Arkansas Records

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


Federal Funding Package for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker
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