Status and Management of the Red-cockaded Woodpecker on Goethe State Forest, Florida

A survey of red-cockaded woodpeckers (Picoides borealis) was conducted on Goethe State Forest, Levy County, Florida, in 1994 and 1995. Four hundred fifty-one living cavity trees, active and inactive, were located. The majority of living cavity trees (97%) were longleaf pines (Pinus palustris). Mean age of cavity trees was 123.6 years (N = 108). One hundred ninety-seven living cavity trees occurred in 26 clusters, and 25 of these clusters were active in 1995. Nestling production was confirmed in 73% and 65% of the active clusters monitored in 1994 and 1995, respectively. To maintain the red-cockaded woodpecker population at its current status, management activities should focus on improving habitat quality in active clusters, establishing replacement stands to provide future nesting and roosting habitat, and providing adequate foraging habitat. To enhance the population, recruitment stands of suitable nesting and roosting habitat should be established, including construction of artificial cavities and cavity starts.

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