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We tracked population trends of Red-cockaded Woodpeckers (Picoides borealis) in eastern Texas from 1983 through 2004. After declining precipitously during the 1980s, woodpecker population trends on federal lands (National Forests and Grasslands in Texas, but excluding the Big Thicket National Preserve) increased between 1990 and 2000, and have been stable to slightly decreasing over the past four years. Litigation against the U.S. Forest Service in the mid 1980s reversed a severe population decline, whereas litigation during the past 8 years hampered recovery efforts for the Red-cockaded Woodpecker. Red-cockaded Woodpecker populations on private and State of Texas lands have steadily declined over he past 15 years, most likely the result of demographic isolation. Limited availability of old pines suitable for cavity excavation, inadequate fire regimes to control hardwood midstory, and demographic dysfunction resulting from woodpecker group isolation remain as significant obstacles to recovery in most populations.


Conner, Richard N.; Saenz, Daniel; Rudolph, D. Population Trends of Red-Cockaded Woodpeckers in Texas. Bulletin of the Texas Ornithological Society. 39(2), 2006, 42-48.

Written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, therefore in the public domain.



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