NASA joins search for elusive ivory-billed woodpecker - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

8/5/06

NASA joins search for elusive ivory-billed woodpecker

 NASA scientists have joined the search for the elusive ivory-billed woodpecker, long thought to be extinct but recently sighted in Arkansas.

NASA used a laser-equipped research aircraft to fly over the Big Woods area of the Mississippi Delta to learn more about the big woodpecker's potential habitat, the U.S. space agency said on Thursday.

Scientists from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and the University of Maryland used an instrument that sends pulses of energy to Earth's surface, where light particles from the lasers bounce off leaves, branches and the ground and reflect back to the instrument.

These signals give scientists a direct measurement of the height of the forest's leaf-covered treetops, the ground level below and everything in between, NASA said in a statement.

"We're trying to understand the environment where these birds live or used to live," said Woody Turner, a NASA scientist.

Knowing the thickness of ground vegetation, the density of tree leaves and other factors including closeness to water and age of the forest might help in the search, he said.

NASA's aerial effort is part of a quest that began in 2004 after a kayaker reported spotting the woodpecker along the Cache River in Arkansas. Before that, there had been no confirmed sightings of ivory-bills for half a century.

Bird experts have searched on the ground, looking for nesting spots, leaving remote-controlled cameras and audio recorders in places that seem likely habitats for the woodpecker. But so far they have captured no confirmed images or sound recordings of the creature.

In 2005, researchers published a report in the journal Science that at least one male ivory-bill still survived, but this finding has been challenged.

The NASA-University of Maryland project aims to give detailed information about the bird's habitat to searchers on the ground, who can use it starting this fall to look for new evidence of the ivory-billed woodpecker's possible survival.

Source: AP

  • NewsMore>>

  • Sports WebXtra: UT-Tyler hosts special Olympics

    Sports WebXtra: UT-Tyler hosts special Olympics

    Tuesday, March 28 2017 12:13 AM EDT2017-03-28 04:13:30 GMT
    UT-Tyler athletics hosting special olympics on Monday night.UT-Tyler athletics hosting special olympics on Monday night.

    The UT-Tyler Student Athlete Advisory Committee hosted its second annual special Olympics with swoop on Monday night. Numerous Patriot athletes took time out of their normal practice and school routine to participate in the event and give kids a night of fun they normally don't experience.

    More >>

    The UT-Tyler Student Athlete Advisory Committee hosted its second annual special Olympics with swoop on Monday night. Numerous Patriot athletes took time out of their normal practice and school routine to participate in the event and give kids a night of fun they normally don't experience.

    More >>
  • Chapel Hill officially hires Jason Hooker

    Chapel Hill officially hires Jason Hooker

    Tuesday, March 28 2017 12:08 AM EDT2017-03-28 04:08:51 GMT
    Jason Hook officially hired at Chapel Hill.Jason Hook officially hired at Chapel Hill.

    A new era of Chapel Hill football will begin this fall. Jason Hooker's hiring became official at Monday night's CHISD board meeting. Hooker, who comes over from Brownsboro, is replacing Thomas Sitton as head coach and athletic director.

    More >>

    A new era of Chapel Hill football will begin this fall. Jason Hooker's hiring became official at Monday night's CHISD board meeting. Hooker, who comes over from Brownsboro, is replacing Thomas Sitton as head coach and athletic director.

    More >>
  • Sports WebXtra: Blake Lynch impressing during Baylor spring practices

    Sports WebXtra: Blake Lynch impressing during Baylor spring practices

    Tuesday, March 28 2017 12:02 AM EDT2017-03-28 04:02:09 GMT
    Matt Rhule is excited about Lynch's progress.Matt Rhule is excited about Lynch's progress.

    Former Baylor standouts Mount Pleasant product KD Cannon and Linden-Kildare native Shock Linwood will get their chance on April 5th to workout in front of NFL scouts and personnel during the Bears Pro Day. In the meantime, new head coach Matt Rhule is trying to lay the foundation of a program that can compete for a Big 12 title in 2017

    More >>

    Former Baylor standouts Mount Pleasant product KD Cannon and Linden-Kildare native Shock Linwood will get their chance on April 5th to workout in front of NFL scouts and personnel during the Bears Pro Day. In the meantime, new head coach Matt Rhule is trying to lay the foundation of a program that can compete for a Big 12 title in 2017

    More >>
Powered by Frankly