Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Catherine S. Wightman; Victoria A. Saab; Chris Forristal; Kim Mellen-Mclean; Amy Markus
    Date: 2010
    Source: Journal of Wildlife Management. 74(5): 1098-1106.
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: Download Publication  (521.04 KB)


    Within forests susceptible to wildfire and insect infestations, land managers need to balance dead tree removal and habitat requirements for wildlife species associated with snags. We used Mahalanobis distance methods to develop predictive models of white-headed woodpecker (Picoides albolarvatus) nesting habitat in postfire ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa)-dominated landscapes on the Fremont-Winema National Forests in south central Oregon, USA. The 1-km radius (314 ha) surrounding 45 nest sites was open-canopied before fire and a mosaic of burn severities after wildfire. The 1-ha surrounding nests of white-headed woodpeckers had fewer live trees per hectare and more decayed and larger diameter snags than at non-nest sites. The leading cause of nest failure seemed to be predation. Habitat and abiotic features were not associated with nest survival. High daily survival rates and little variation within habitat features among nest locations suggest whiteheaded woodpeckers were consistently selecting high suitability habitats. Management activities that open the forest canopy and create conditions conducive to a mosaic burn pattern will probably provide suitable white-headed woodpecker nesting habitat after wildfire. When making postfire salvage logging decisions, we suggest that retention of larger, more decayed snags will provide nesting habitat in recently burned forests.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Wightman, Catherine S.; Saab, Victoria A.; Forristal, Chris; Mellen-Mclean, Kim; Markus, Amy. 2010. White-headed woodpecker nesting ecology after wildfire. Journal of Wildlife Management. 74(5): 1098-1106.


    habitat suitability model, Mahalanobis distance, nest-site selection, nest survival, ponderosa pine, snags, whiteheaded woodpecker, wildfire

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page