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Seven red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis) colonies and stands within a one-quarter mile radius were hazard-rated for susceptibility to the southern pine beetle (Dendroctonus Frontalis Zimm.). Individual colonies generally were ranked low to moderate hazard using the Texas Hazard system and moderate hazard using the National Forest Risk system. Within one quarter mile of the colonies, 28% of the stands were low hazard, 25% moderate, 0.3% high and 7.5% extreme with Texas Hazard. Four percent were low hazard, 52% moderate, and 6% high with National Forest Risk. Moderate to extreme hazard stands within one-quarter mile of the colonies could increase the probability of beetle infestation in these areas, thus threatening foraging areas and individual colony trees. Documented bark beetles activity within colonies did not correspond directly with hazard ratings, suggesting that development of a different model may be needed for these RCW colonies to incorporate stand characteristics disturbances, cavity tree condition, and other bark beetle species.


Posted with permission from the Society of American Foresters



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