(WGHP) — A species of woodpecker in North Carolina may now be extinct, according to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service news release.
The USFWS announced a 6-month extension to finalize its proposal to delist the ivory-billed woodpecker due to the possibility it is now extinct.
The USFWS is also reopening the public comment period on the proposed rule for 30 days.
On September 30, 2021, the USFWS published a proposed rule to remove 23 species from the federal list of endangered and threatened wildlife and plants due to extinction.
This proposal included the ivory-billed woodpecker and was based on the best science available at the time, the release says.
The USFWS held a requested public hearing on Jan. 26 on the proposal to delist the ivory-billed woodpecker. The USFWS considered information submitted during the public hearing, the 60-day public comment period associated with the proposed rule and the 30-day public comment period associated with the public hearing.
Since experts had substantial disagreements about the status of the ivory-billed woodpecker, the USFWS is extending the deadline to allow for additional time to review information.
The USFWS is also asking for new information during the 30-day reopening, including clear video or photographic evidence of the presence of the ivory-billed woodpecker that can be repeatedly interpreted the same way by independent observers.
The reopening of the 30-day public comment period on the proposed rule that was published on Sept. 30, 2021, will be published in the Federal Register on July 7.
The Service will accept comments received or postmarked on or before Aug. 8. Information on how to submit comments is available at www.regulations.gov by searching under docket number FWS‒R4‒ES‒2020‒0109.