Photographed by Bette Jackson
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Hi, I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson, out with the wild things. The last documented sighting of an ivory-billed woodpecker in North America was in April 1944 in northeastern Louisiana. Others have reported seeing the birds, including many sightings in Florida and recent sightings in a poor-quality video from Arkansas. Yet solid proof of the continued existence of these birds has eluded scientists. What’s needed is a good quality photograph, or better, a good quality video. The ivory bills preference for extensive old-growth forest, especially in swamp areas, its apparent sensitivity to human disturbance, and its ability to move great distances all contribute to its elusiveness. Although the chances of finding an ivory bill are very slim, some of the best remaining hopes for the birds are to be found in extensive forested areas in Florida. Along Chipola, Apalachicola, and lower Suwannee rivers in North Florida and of the vast, forested swamplands of the interior of South Florida.'With the Wild Things' is produced at the Whitaker Center in the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University. For 'The Wild Things', I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson.