"We feel that if the bird has survived all this time, this has been a part of it," said Larry Mallard, the refuge's manager.I think that Richard Prum's return to public skepticism is notable. I wonder if the Wikipedia Ivory-bill entry will be updated, since it currently quotes Prum this way:
"The area is so finite, and the technology ... and the armies of people are so vast ... they will blanket the area to the point where it will be impossible to imagine if the bird is really there that it will elude this array of people," said Richard Prum, curator of ornithology at Yale University's Peabody Museum. Prum, intrigued by some of the recordings taken in Arkansas' Big Woods, said the evidence thus far is refutable.
"If they don't find it by this spring, they will have a lot of explaining to do," he said.
"Using traditional methods, we have some experience with how long it takes to find a rare bird ... and it is a lot less (time) than they are spending," Prum said. "With their new methods, with these unique methods, they are still not landing it. If the bird's there, they are going to find it."
Some of the most promising data collected to date come from White River. It was here where recordings of two supposed ivory-billed woodpeckers were taken this past January.
We were very skeptical of the first published reports, and thought that the previous data were not sufficient to support this startling conclusion. But the thrilling new sound recordings provide clear and convincing evidence that the Ivory-billed Woodpecker is not extinct.Prum's return to public skepticism could portend a re-submittal of his critical paper. Remember, back in September, a Nature article said this:
Even so, the three sceptics [Prum, Jackson, and Robbins] say that they withdrew their PLoS manuscript too hastily. They are getting support from other ornithologists, including Gary Graves, the Smithsonian Institution's curator of birds, who argues that the bird shown in the crucial video may be a pileated, not an ivory-billed, woodpecker.