From eastern Texas to the Atlantic shore exists the remnants of a once-magnificent forest which gave birth to two woodpeckers: the red-cockaded, and the ivory-billed. The fate of these two birds follows the fate of this forest. Though the status of the ivory-bill is still in question, the red-cockaded woodpecker may still be saved.
What distinguishes this bird from others is its unique niche. Its adaptations make it totally dependent on pine trees in an open forest. This ecosystem - that of the loblolly pine tree forest - is the bird's onlly habitat. But these southeastern pine trees are valuable natural resources. Having withstood the ravages of nature for thousands of years, it is now entirely possible that the woodpecker will be lost because of a combination of 'benign neglect' and commercial interests.