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Induction of Red-Cockaded Woodpecker Group Formation by Artificial Cavity Construction

Carole K. Copeyon, Jeffrey R. Walters and J. H. Carter III
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 55, No. 4 (Oct., 1991), pp. 549-556
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3809497
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3809497
Page Count: 8
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Induction of Red-Cockaded Woodpecker Group Formation by Artificial Cavity Construction
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Abstract

Previous research suggested that red-cockaded woodpeckers (Picoides borealis) were reluctant to occupy sites lacking sufficient existing cavities, despite their being exclusively primary cavity users. We provisioned 10 vacant sites (sites lacking cavity tree clusters and red-cockadeds) and 10 abandoned sites (sites with existing clusters no longer occupied by red-cockadeds) in the Sandhills region of North Carolina with cavities and cavity starts we constructed in 1988 and 1989. By July 1989, 18 of 20 experimental sites had been occupied, resulting in the net addition of 12 social groups to the population. No control sites were occupied. Occupation of previously vacant areas and rapid increases in the number of social units in a population are rare events in this and other populations in the absence of cavity provisioning. Cavity provisioning can be used to stabilize or increase red-cockaded woodpecker populations.

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