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    Description

    By late 1985, the population of Red-cockaded Woodpeckers (Picoider borealis) at the Savannah River Site, South Carolina, had declined to a low of four individuals. Because of extensive timber harvesting prior to thr 1950s,the older live pine trees that Red-cockaded Woodpeckers require for cavity construction were limited. We monitored the response of the population to intensive habitat enhancements that include construction of artificial cavities, control of cavity competitors, and removal of the hardwood mid-story to improve nesting habitat quality. Translorations of Red-cockaded Woodpeckers from on-site and donor populations were undertaken to enhance the number of breeding pairs, the overall population size, and to minimize potential adverse genetic consequences of a small population size. From 1986-1995, we carried out 54 translocations, installed artificial cavities, and rcmoved 2304 southern flying squirrels (Glaucoms volans) (a cavity competitor). Concomitant intensive population monitoring revealed that thr number of breeding pairs of woodpeckers increased from 1 to 19 and the overall population size grew from 4 to 99 individuals, reflecting the highly focused habitat restoration effort. Intensive management has been successful in rehabilitating this critically small population of endangered birds.

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    Citation

    Franzreb, Kathleen E. 1997. Success of intensive management of a critically imperiled population of red-cockaded woodpeckers in South Carolina. J. Field Ornithol.,68(3): 458-470

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