Project Principalis (A Search for the Ivorybill)

Welcome to the new home for Project Principalis information and updates. Formerly called Project Coyote, this project was founded by Mark A. Michaels and the late Frank Wiley, a Louisiana native, to search for evidence of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers in the state, and to follow up on local reports of sightings.

Mark first began blogging about the effort 2014, but the search for information and evidence of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers in East-Central Louisiana began in August 2009. Information on the first nine years of the study is archived at  Read more about the history of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker and related research through the 1930s.

During the 2018-2019 field season, Project Principalis embarked on a collaborative effort with the National Aviary and the University of Pittsburgh, focused on gathering acoustic data, collecting environmental DNA samples, and locating roost and nest sites. Researchers are aiming to document Ivory-billed Woodpeckers, document concrete evidence that establishes the species’ persistence, and start gathering behavioral data about what they believe is at least one group of surviving birds.

This site will be updated with field notes and updates on data collection and analysis related to Project Principalis’s search for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker.


Founders of the original Project Coyote search for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, Frank Wiley and Mark Michaels.