According to a press release a biologist from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology tracked down a 16-mm film shot in 1956 by a dentist (who was riding a mule at the time) from Pennsylvania.
The footage, which captures the last confirmed sighting of an Imperial Woodpecker in the wild, has now been restored and used to describe the species’ behavior and its habitat—determined by tracking down the exact filming location during a 2010 expedition. The research appears in the October 2011 issue of The Auk, the scientific journal of the American Ornithologists’ Union, and the cover features a painting of the woodpecker adapted from the film.
It’s really hard for me to watch these sorts of things. So close, so far away. And as much as I like to focus on how well we have done conserving some species, we continue to think things like this Tar Sands Pipeline is a good idea.