MONROE, La (KTVE/KARD)– The U.S. Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is looking to de-list many species from the Wildlife Protection Act due to extinction. One of those species is the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, and Mission Ivory-bill is out to prove it still exists.

Matt Courtman, founder of Mission Ivorybill, tells us more about the foundation. “Mission Ivorybill is to educate people to advocate for the ivory-billed woodpecker, and really, we’ve led the charge in opposing the delisting of the ivory-billed woodpecker.” That is, the US Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed delisting the Ivory-billed Woodpecker from the Endangered Species Act. “And we’ve led the charge against that, and we hope they won’t.”

The only way to know how many of these birds exist is by looking. Courtman said, “But we’re excited about the results” so far. I’ve seen the bird five times and heard it 18 times. We have good audio recordings, but again until we find the active cavity, which takes a lot of hard work. We’re not confident about getting a photo. Having said that, that might happen tomorrow, so we’re hopeful and bringing others in and educating them. and we have no claim on the bird; we’d be thrilled tomorrow if somebody in St. Martin Parish got a great photo. That is our hope—that we are simply advocating for the ivorybill and would be delighted to assist anyone in their search.