Rare southern bird on verge of making a comeback
FORT STEWART, Ga. (AP) - Scientists studying the red-cockaded woodpecker in Georgia forests say the rare bird is making a comeback.
WABE Radio reports that the bird was likely common long ago, but has been considered endangered in recent decades.
Habitat loss was the main challenge for the bird. It's homes - the longleaf pine forests of the South - were rapidly disappearing.
Now, the small black and white bird could be on the verge of becoming an environmental success story in Georgia and across the South. It is doing well enough that there have been discussions about downgrading its protections.
There's also concern that the bird isn't ready for that.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the bird can be found in nearly a dozen states , including Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Carolinas.