The endangered red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis) has become a high-profile management issue in the southeastern United States. Suitable habitat consists of mature to old pine, or mixed pine-hardwood forest, with minimal hardwood midstory vegetation. Loss of habitat, detrimental silvicultural practices, and changes in the fire regime have resulted in small fragmented populations, most of which have been declining precipitously in recent decades (Costa and Escano 1989, Conner and Rudolph 1989). The current population of l0-12 thousand birds occurs across much of the original range from Virginia and Florida west to Oklahoma and Texas (James 1995). However, populations are restricted to isolated tracts of suitable habitat, primarily on public lands. Consequently, the debate over the future of this once abundant species, characteristic of fire climax pine forests, has focused primarily on management strategies for the species by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), the agency responsible for the majority of the public forest lands in the region.
Rudolph, D. Craig and Conner, Richard N., "Red-Cockaded Woodpeckers and Silvicultural Practice: is Uneven-Aged? Silviculture Preferable to Even-Aged" (1996). Faculty Publications. 447.