Ivory-billed Woodpecker (finally) officially declared extinct in US



That is sad, as the article mentions conservations efforts and funds may fade once a species is declared extinct. Still, declared extinct doesn’t prove a species is extinct.


I rather doubt the listing will have any impact at all on funding or conservation efforts. In the exceedingly low probability the species still exists, it is almost certainly in protected land. In the US that is mostly national/state parks and or national forests etc.

Until the US elects a government which declares those of no value and sells them all off to timber companies, that land will remain (putting aside any tangental discussions about the overall impact of climate change etc).


True. The Black-footed Ferret was declared extinct in the late 1970s but was rediscovered in the wild in 1981 and persists today thanks to captive breeding efforts.

In the case of the woodpecker, despite that flurry of activity and hope about a decade or two ago, it seems likely this species is gone.


I haven’t been able to find an article anywhere on the internet that actually lists the 23 species that were just “declared extinct” by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. And the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website has no information about it whatsoever. Some declaration!

The only information I was able to find about the list is “The extinction includes eleven birds, eight freshwater mussels, two fish, a bat and a plant.”


from the article 'on Wednesday will announce is extinct. ’

I assume they put out a pre release to the press and are having some kind of event later today.


This page has a link to the draft document. The same link should have the final version tomorrow. Lots of Hawaiian endemics :/

Kauai akialoa
Kauai nukupuu
Kauai 'o’o (honeyeater)
Large Kauai thrush (kam’a)
Maui akepa
Maui nukupuu
Molokai creeper (kakawahie)
Po`ouli (honeycreeper)
Bridled white-eye
Little Mariana fruit bat
Phyllostegia glabra var. lanaiensis (no common name)
San Marcos gambusia
Scioto madtom
Flat pigtoe
Southern acornshell
Upland combshell
Green blossom (pearly mussel)
Tubercled blossom (pearly mussel)
Turgid blossom (pearly mussel)
Yellow blossom (pearly mussel)
Ivory-billed woodpecker
Bachman’s warbler


is the entirety of Bridled White-eye extinct? I thought some of the other subspecies were still around and that it was only the ones on Guam that were extinct


The Bridled White-Eye is still around, albeit endangered. The ones on Guam were a unique subspecies though, so I would assume they are just referring to that subspecies.


Scientific names are used later in the document:

The remaining populations are considered to be Z. c. saypani


Prior to this update, I believe the current list is:



There’s a beautiful, elegiac song by Sufjan Stevens about the ivory-billed woodpecker that feels like an appropriate listen in response to that press release.


It’s a desperately sad comment on our society that we didn’t learn all our lessons from the Passenger Pigeon, the Carolina Parakeet, the Heath Hen, the Labrador Duck, and the Great Auk…not to mention the numbing list of other species from around the world.

We’ve at least learned enough to pull some of these species back from the brink some of the time. I’m reminded of this every time I see a Trumpeter Swan in Northwestern Ontario. This year, I actually saw an adult Trumpeter with four little cygnets - a personal first:

Change is possible…just exhausting.

Related question (sort of): while the historical range of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker and the Bachman’s Warbler never stretched up to Canada, I have often wondered if anyone has found a Canadian record for Carolina Parakeet.


So, I read the story on CNN earlier today, and it made me sad. I remember the hunt for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker in the 80s or 90s (?) after birders thought they had seen it. Were those false sightings–I never saw a follow-up story.

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The observation in 2004 (?) seems to have been a case of “I’ll see it when I believe it.” It was just not that compelling. But it was an interesting case study of how even experienced researchers might be able to convince themselves of something when the evidence is not that good. As the saying goes, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.


This sucks. How many more of these headlines am I gonna have to read in my lifetime? But I guess with the way this world works sometimes, I wouldn’t be surprised if one ends up being sighted before the year is over.


Strangely enough, despite me long seeing it as (usually) the final arbiter of things, the IUCN seems to take a very cautious view on the idea the Ivory-bill is extinct, and this entry has even been updated as such quite recently, so it’s not like the reluctance to list it as extinct is based on outdated info. And most of this info is also based on the birds in the US, not the ones in Cuba. It’s the only thing keeping me from writing it off as extinct, and it makes me see the USFWS listing as perhaps a bit premature.


Still hoping that one day in LA out of the swamp one will be found.


Yeah…. Still hoping they are there abouts, hanging out (regardless of any human sightings or interference ).


Just to clarify: this is a proposed declaration and request for information, not a final decision. There is still time to comment with additional information if anyone has any. Not that it’s likely that the decision will change unless some are found in the next few months.
Perhaps the “finally” could be removed from the topic title?