Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Imperial Woodpecker

Illustration of Imperial Woodpeckers
A while back I wrote about the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, a species from the southern United States that is believed to extinct.... though unconfirmed sightings pop up from time to time.

The same can be said for the Imperial Woodpecker. This relative of the Ivory-Billed (they belong to the same genus) has not been officially seen in its Mexican homeland since 1956.

Habitat destruction, a fragmented population, and hunting all led to the decline of this species. The last confirmed bird was seen in 1956, though numerous searches have been undertaken to find any living specimens. One search, in 1994-1995, lasted 11 months and turned up nothing. Unconfirmed reports have popped up over the years, with one of the most recent in 2005.

Unfortunately, not a whole lot is known about this rare and possibly gone-forever Woodpecker. If they were still around, they'd be the largest living Woodpecker species. Males sported red crests, while the females' were all black. They fed primarily on beetle larvae.

IUCN Status : Critically Endangered, Possibly Extinct since 1956
Location : Mexico
Size : Length up to 24in (60cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Piciformes
Family : Picidae -- Genus : Campephilus -- Species : C. imperialis


  1. These are very interesting facts about this kind of woodpecker! I hope it is now gone forever!

  2. Amazing how many species disappear before we fully understand their contribution to the ecosystem.

    Dani @ ONNO Organic Clothing


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