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Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge,
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service,
Ivory-Billed Woodpecker Records
(Mss. 4171) Inventory
Compiled by Mark E. Martin
Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections
Special Collections, Hill Memorial Library
Louisiana State University Libraries
Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University
2005
Summary
100 - 4" x 5" resin-coated photographic positive prints;
Size
61 - 2.5" X 3.5" negative exposures;
34 - 35-mm negative film exposures;
1 hand-drawn, two-sided map, 67 cm X 76 cm
Louisiana--Madison Parish--Singer Tract
Geographic
Locations
1935-1941
Inclusive
Dates
1935-1941
Bulk Dates
English
Languages
Photographs taken and a map drawn by James T. (Taylor)
Summary
Tanner during 6 field seasons studying the ivory-billed
woodpecker in what is now part of the Tensas River National
Wildlife Refuge (La.).
There are no restrictions on this collection. However, the
Restrictions
negatives in this collection may not be seen without prior
curatorial permission.
Physical rights and copyright are retained by the LSU Libraries.
Copyright
Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge, U.S. Fish & Wildlife
Citation
Service,
Mss. #4171
Ivory-Billed Woodpecker Records, Mss. 4171, Louisiana and
Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, LSU Libraries, Baton
Rouge, Louisiana.
11:31
Stack
OS:T
location(s)
Biographical Note
James Taylor Tanner, was born in Homer, New York, on 6 March 1914. He attended
Cornell University and did graduate study under Arthur A. Allen. His master's thesis was
on "Sound Recording for a Natural History Museum." His Ph.D. dissertation was "Life
History and Ecology of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker," based on 21 months of field
studies in the great Singer tract in northeastern Louisiana, the last refuge for this nearly
extinct species. Many years later Tanner similarly visited almost inaccessible areas in
northern Mexico, but failed to find the Imperial Woodpecker.
Tanner taught at East Tennessee State University from 1940, before serving in the
Navy during World War II, reaching the rank of Lieutenant-Commander. From 1947 until
retirement in 1979, he was at the University of Tennessee. He founded the ecology
program there and directed more than 50 theses and dissertations in cooperation with
seven university departments and the ecology section of the Oak Ridge National
Laboratory.
From 1940, Tanner was a member of the Tennessee Ornithological Society, serving as
editor of the Migrant (1947-1955), as state president (1971-1973), and as Curator (from
1974). He was one of the first recipients of the Society's Distinguished Service Award.
He did extensive field work involving cooperative projects with the Knoxville Chapter,
the state Atlas, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Tanner also was in charge of
grants to graduate students in the Great Smoky Mountain Conservation Association. He
published over 50 articles in refereed journals and Audubon Magazine. His Guide to the
Study of Animal Populations was published by the University of Tennessee Press.
Tanner died in Knoxville, Tennessee, on 21 January 1991.
Historical Note
In 1935, a team of Cornell scientists including Arthur A. Allen, Peter Paul Kellogg,
George Miksch Sutton, J. J. Kuhn, and James T. Tanner located three ivory-billed
woodpecker nests in the Singer Tract. The researchers spent several days closely
monitoring one of the nests and produced the first motion pictures and sound recordings
ever obtained of the species.
From 1937 to 1941, James Tanner spent a large portion of his time living in the Singer
Tract, collecting information about the ivory-billed woodpecker. Tanner used the data for
his Cornell doctoral dissertation, which the Audubon Society later published in the
Research report of the National Audubon Society, number 1, 1942.
In 1941, Tanner and his wife, Nancy Burnham Sheedy Tanner, saw several ivory-billed
woodpeckers at the Singer Tract. That same year, the National Audubon Society
launched a campaign to preserve the Singer Tract as a refuge for ivory-billed
woodpeckers. Tanner did not return to the area until the 1980s, when the Tensas River
National Wildlife Refuge officially opened.
Scope and Content Note
The 100 photographic negatives and their prints document 6 field seasons during the
years of 1935-1941 during which James T. Tanner and associates studied the ivory-
billed woodpecker and its environment on the Sanger Tract, Madison Parish, Louisiana,
in what is now the Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge. Also included is Tanner's
hand-drawn, two-sided map documenting nesting sites and other signs of the ivory-
billed woodpecker's presence in the Singer and Ayer Tracts, Madison Parish.
LIST OF SERIES
I.
1935 Field season photographs
II.
1937 Field season photographs
III.
1938 Field season photographs
IV.
1939 Field season photographs
V.
1940 Field season photographs
VI.
1941 Field season photographs
VII.
Tanner map of ivory-billed woodpecker territory in Singer Tract, Madison Parish
SERIES DESCRIPTIONS
Item
Description
Date
Creator
number
Series 1
1935 Field season
4171001p Cabin on Sharkey Road near
April 1935
James T. Tanner
Alligator Bayou, April 1935
4171002p Woods in flat near John's Bayou,
April 1935
James T. Tanner
April 1935
4171003p Cypress, John's Bayou, April 1935
April 1935
James T. Tanner
4171004p Paul Kellogg and J. J. Kuhn when
April 1935
James T. Tanner
sound recording of ivory-billed
woodpecker was being made, April
1935
4171005p Female ivory-billed woodpecker at
April 1935
James T. Tanner
nest in red maple, April 1935.
4171006p Male ivory-billed woodpecker at
April 1935
James T. Tanner
nest in red maple, April 1935
4171007p Male ivory-billed woodpecker at
April 1935
James T. Tanner
nest in red maple, April 1935
4171008p Ivory-billed woodpecker pair
April 1935
James T. Tanner
changing at nest, April 1935
Series 2
1937 Field season
4171009p Sharkey Road, April 1937
April 1937
James T. Tanner
4171010p James T. Tanner standing next to
May 1937
James T. Tanner
a large sweet gum, May 1937
4171011p James T. Tanner standing next to
May 1937
James T. Tanner
a big honey locust near Methiglum
Bayou, May 1937
4171012p Rainey Lake, Greenlea[f] Bend,
May 1937
James T. Tanner
May 1937
4171013p Rainey Lake, Greenlea[f] Bend,
May 1937
James T. Tanner
May 1937
4171014p Cypress on Rainey Lake, May
May 1937
James T. Tanner
1937
4171015p Oil [old?] field near Mack's Bayou,
May 1937
James T. Tanner
May1937
4171016p Gum ridge, May 1937
May 1937
James T. Tanner
4171017p Gum ridge, May 1937
May 1937
James T. Tanner
4171018p Dead-top gum with ivory-billed
May 1937
James T. Tanner
woodpecker feeding sign, May
1937
4171019p Dead-top gum with ivory-billed
May 1937
James T. Tanner
woodpecker feeding sign, May
1937
4171020p Mixed woods, May or June 1937
May/June 1937
James T. Tanner
4171021p Mixed woods, May or June 1937
May/June 1937
James T. Tanner
4171022p Tensas River near Dishroom
June 1937
James T. Tanner
Bend, June 1937
4171023p Little Bear Lake, June 1937
June 1937
James T. Tanner
4171024p Little Bear Lake, June 1937
June 1937
James T. Tanner
4171025p Woods near John's Bayou, June
June 1937
James T. Tanner
1937
4171026p Tops of sweetgum trees (in John's
June 1937
James T. Tanner
Bayou or Greenleaf Bend areas),
June 1937
4171027p Gum ridge woods, June 1937
June 1937
James T. Tanner
4171028p Dead top sweetgum, June 1937
June 1937
James T. Tanner
4171029p Old field in Frisby Bend, June 1937 June 1937
James T. Tanner
4171030p Woods on "old field," June 1937
June 1937
James T. Tanner
4171031p Woods on "old field," June 1937
June 1937
James T. Tanner
4171032p Woods on ridge, June 1937
June 1937
James T. Tanner
4171033p McGill Bend, opening in canopy,
June 1937
James T. Tanner
June 1937
4171034p Partially logged woods in Ayer
June 1937
James T. Tanner
Tract in McGill Bend, June 1937
4171035p Cut-over wood near Singer Tract,
June 1937
James T. Tanner
June 1937
4171036p Recently logged woods in Ayer
June 1937
James T. Tanner
Tract in McGill Bend, June 1937
4171037p Dead limb scaled of bark by ivory-
June 1937
James T. Tanner
billed woodpeckers, June 1937
4171038p Dead hackberry fed upon by ivory-
June 1937
James T. Tanner
billed woodpeckers, June 1937
4171039p Ash tree with ivory-billed
June 1937
James T. Tanner
woodpecker roosting holes, June
1937
4171040p Overcup oak flat, June 1937
June 1937
James T. Tanner
4171041p Salty spring and deer lick near
June 1937
James T. Tanner
Methiglum Bayou, June 1937
4171042p Cabin on Sharkey Road, near
July 1937
James T. Tanner
Alligator Bayou, July 1937
4171043p Tensas River, July 1973
July 1937
James T. Tanner
4171044p Poison ivy, climbing, July 1937
July 1937
James T. Tanner
4171045p Poison ivy, erect, July 1937
July 1937
James T. Tanner
4171046p Tensas River, December 1937
December
James T. Tanner
1937
4171047p Woods near John's Bayou,
December
James T. Tanner
December 1937
1937
4171048p Woods near John's Bayou,
December
James T. Tanner
December 1937
1937
4171049p Greenleaf Bend, gum ridge,
December
James T. Tanner
December 1937
1937
4171050p Greenleaf Bend, gum ridge near
December
James T. Tanner
Rainey Lake, December 1937
1937
4171051p Old field near Ramsey Bayou,
December
James T. Tanner
December 1937
1937
4171052p Old field near Ramsey Bayou,
December
James T. Tanner
December 1937
1937
4171053p Overcup oak flat, December 1937
December
James T. Tanner
1937
4171054p Buck deer skull, December 1937
December
James T. Tanner
1937
Series 3
1938 Field season
4171055p Horse, "Charlie," used in ivory-
1938
James T. Tanner
billed [woodpecker] study in 1938
4171056p Ridge woods, 1938
1938
James T. Tanner
4171057p John's Bayou, winter 1937 or 1938
1937/1938
James T. Tanner
4171058p Nestling ivory-billed woodpecker
March 6, 1938
James T. Tanner
on J.J. Kuhn, March 6, 1938
4171059p Nestling ivory-billed woodpecker
March 6, 1938
James T. Tanner
and J.J. Kuhn, March 6, 1938
4171060p Greenleaf Bend, gum ridge,
August 1938
James T. Tanner
August 1938
4171061p Gum ridge, August 1938
August 1938
James T. Tanner
4171062p Gum ridge, August 1938
August 1938
James T. Tanner
4171063p Dead-top ash, August 1938
August 1938
James T. Tanner
4171064p Wood in John's Bayou area,
August 1938
James T. Tanner
August 1938
4171065p End of Rainey Lake, August 1938
August 1938
James T. Tanner
Series 4
1939 Field season
4171066p Cabin at Sharkey Road at Alligator
Spring 1939
James T. Tanner
Bayou, Spring 1939
4171067p Horses in pasture at camp, Spring
Spring 1939
James T. Tanner
1939
4171068p Jesse Laird and horses, Spring
Spring 1939
James T. Tanner
1939
4171069p Woods near John's Bayou, Spring
Spring 1939
James T. Tanner
1939
4171070p Big cottonwood, near Methiglum
Spring 1939
James T. Tanner
Bayou, Spring 1939
4171071p Sharkey Road, April 1939
April 1939
James T. Tanner
4171072p Sweet pecan with ivory-billed
April 1939
James T. Tanner
woodpecker feeding sign, April
1939
4171073p Sweet pecan with ivory-billed
April 1939
James T. Tanner
woodpecker feeding sign, April
1939
4171074p Sweet pecan with ivory-billed
April 1939
James T. Tanner
woodpecker feeding sign, April
1939
4171075p Sweet pecan with ivory-billed
April 1939
James T. Tanner
woodpecker feeding sign, April
1939
4171076p Sweet gum with ivory-billed
April 1939
James T. Tanner
woodpecker feeding sign, April
1939
4171077p Ivory-billed woodpecker nest tree,
April 1939
James T. Tanner
Nuttall's Oak, April 1939
4171078p Woods in vicinity of this nest,
April 1939
James T. Tanner
John's Bayou area, April 1939
4171079p Young ivory-billed woodpecker in
April 1939
James T. Tanner
flight, April 1939
4171080p Adult ivory-billed woodpecker in
April 1939
James T. Tanner
flight, April 1939
4171081p Lake in Andrews Bend, May 1939
May 1939
James T. Tanner
4171082p Lake in Andrews Bend, May 1939
May 1939
James T. Tanner
4171083p Gum woods in Andrews Bend,
May 1939
James T. Tanner
May 1939
4171084p Rainey Lake, Greenleaf Bend, May May 1939
James T. Tanner
1939
4171085p Rainey Lake, Greenleaf Bend, May May 1939
James T. Tanner
1939
4171086p Cypress on Rainey Lake, May
May 1939
James T. Tanner
1939
Series 5
1940 Field season
4171087p Temporary camp on Indian Lake
ca. 1940
James T. Tanner
4171088p Deer pawing, March 1940
March 1940
James T. Tanner
4171089p Bridge on Sharkey Road over
March 1940
James T. Tanner
John's Bayou, March 1940
4171090p Cypress in Methiglum Bayou,
March 1940
James T. Tanner
March 1940
4171091p Gum ridge woods in Greenleaf,
March 1940
James T. Tanner
near Rainey Lake, March 1940
4171092p Gum ridge woods in Greenleaf,
March 1940
James T. Tanner
near Rainey Lake, March 1940
4171093p Slough or cypress brake, near
March 1940
James T. Tanner
Rainey Lake, March 1940
4171094p Cypress at end of Rainey Lake,
March 1940
James T. Tanner
March 1940
4171095p Trees on gum ridge, Greenleaf
March 1940
James T. Tanner
Bend, March 1940
Series 6
1941 Field season
4171096p Recent cutover in John's Bayou
December
James T. Tanner
area, December 1941
1941
4171097p Recent cutover in John's Bayou
December
James T. Tanner
area, December 1941
1941
4171098p Big tree (gum?) in area south of
December
James T. Tanner
Alligator Bayou, December 1941
1941
4171099p Big tree (gum?) in area south of
December
James T. Tanner
Alligator Bayou, December 1941
1941
4171100p Big tree (gum?) in area south of
December
James T. Tanner
Alligator Bayou, December 1941
1941
Series 7
Tanner's map of Ivory-billed
woodpecker territory in Singer
Tract
4171101
1 map; 67 cm X 76 cm; pencil on
paper, recto and verso, ca. 1940
INDEX TERMS
TERM
FOUND IN
Ash (plants)--Photographs
4171039p, 4171063p
Automobiles 1900-1940--Photographs
4171087p
Bridges--Photographs
4171089p
Cabins--Louisiana--Madison Parish--
4171001p, 4171042p,
Photographs
4171066p
Camp sites, facilities, etc.--Photographs
4171087p
Cottonwood--Photographs
4171070p
Cypress--Photographs
4171003p, 4171014p,
4171081p, 4171086p,
4171090p, 4171093p,
4171094p
Cypress--Photographs
4171003p, 4171014p,
4171081p, 4171086p,
4171090p, 4171093p,
4171094p
Forests--Louisiana--Madison Parish--
all
Photographs
Hackberry--Photographs
4171038p
Honey locust--Photographs
4171011p
Horses--Photographs
4171055p, 4171067p,
4171098p., 4171099p,
4171100p
Ivory-billed woodpecker--Nests--Photographs
4171008p
Ivory-billed woodpecker--Photographs
4171005p, 4171006p,
4171007p, 4171008p,
4171058p, 4171059p,
4171079p, 4171080p
John's Bayou (La.)--Photographs
4171057p, 4171064p,
4171069p, 4171078p
Kellogg, P.P. (Peter Paul)--Photographs
4171004p
Kuhn, J.J.--Photographs
4171004p, 4171058p,
4171059p
Laird, Jesse--Photographs
4171068p
Lakes--Photographs
4171012p, 4171013p,
4171081p, 4171082p,
4171084p, 4171085p,
4171086p
Little Bear Lake (La.)--Photographs
4171023p, 4171024p
Logging--Louisiana--Madison Parish--
4171034p, 4171035p,
Photographs
4171036p, 4171096p,
4171097p
McGill Bend (La.)--Photographs
4171033p
Nuttall oak--Photographs
4171077p
Pecan--Photographs
4171076p
Poison ivy--Photographs
4171044p, 4171045p
Red maple--Photographs
4171005p
Red oak--Photographs
4171006p, 4171007p
Skull--Photographs
4171054p
Swamps--Photographs
4171003p
Sweetgum--Photographs
4171010p, 4171016p,
4171017p, 4171018p,
4171019p, 4171026p,
4171028p, 4171060p,
4171061p, 4171062p,
4171073p, 4171074p,
4171075p, 4171083p,
4171091p, 4171092p,
4171095p
Sweetgum--Photographs
4171072p
Tanner, James T. (James Taylor)--Photographs
4171010p, 4171011p
Tensas River (La.)--Photographs
4171022p, 4171043p,
4171046p
Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge
all
CONTAINER LIST
Stack Location
Box
Series
Contents (with dates)
11:31
1
Series I.
1935 Field season photographs
11:31
1
Series II.
1937 Field season photographs
11:31
1
Series III.
1938 Field season photographs
11:31
1
Series VI.
1939 Field season photographs
11:31
1
Series V.
1940 Field season photographs
11:31
1
Series VI.
1941 Field season photographs
OS:T
Series VII.
Tanner map of ivory-billed
woodpecker sightings in Singer and
Ayer Tracts, Madison Parish