The Red-cockaded Woodpecker: Surviving in a Fire-Maintained Ecosystem

Paperback | November 24, 2010

byRichard Conner, D. Craig Rudolph, Jeffrey R. Walters

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Though small among its woodpecker relatives, the Red-cockaded Woodpecker poses a huge dilemma for its human neighbors. Uniquely adapted to live in the old-growth pine forests of the southeastern United States, the Red-cockaded Woodpecker has nearly disappeared as the forests have been cleared for agricultural, commercial, and residential uses over the last two centuries. Today, it waits at a crossroads. Scientific management practices could restore the woodpecker's habitat and population, but the imperative to convert old-growth forests to other uses remains.

In this book, three of the leading experts on the Red-cockaded Woodpecker offer a comprehensive overview of all that is currently known about its biology and natural history and about the ecology of the fire-maintained forests it requires for survival. As the most visible endangered species in the Southeast, and the one whose conservation impacts the largest land area, the Red-cockaded Woodpecker holds a compelling interest not only for ornithologists, but also for wildlife managers, foresters, developers, environmentalists, and government officials. For all of these groups, this book will be the essential resource for learning more about the Red-cockaded Woodpecker and ensuring its survival.

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Though small among its woodpecker relatives, the Red-cockaded Woodpecker poses a huge dilemma for its human neighbors. Uniquely adapted to live in the old-growth pine forests of the southeastern United States, the Red-cockaded Woodpecker has nearly disappeared as the forests have been cleared for agricultural, commercial, and residenti...

Format:PaperbackDimensions:400 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:November 24, 2010Publisher:University Of Texas PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0292726279

ISBN - 13:9780292726277

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Frances C. JamesAcknowledgments1. An Introduction A Brief History The Southern Pine Ecosystems Change across the Landscape Woodpecker Populations Plummet The Tide Begins to Turn An Unknown Future2. Fire-Maintained Pine Ecosystems History of the Southeastern Forests The Longleaf Pine Forest Other Southern Pines The Animal Community A Summary Perspective Threats to the Fire-Maintained Ecosystem3. Evolution, Taxonomy, and Morphology of the Red-cockaded Woodpecker Evolution Taxonomy Morphology Parasites4. Red-cockaded Woodpecker Distribution: Past and Present Distribution Prior to Recorded History Recorded Historical Distribution The Logging Era The Modern Era The Extent of Population Decline The Current Population5. Cavity Trees in Fire-Maintained Southern Pine Ecosystems Cavity Construction in Live Pines Resin Wells Cavity Competition and Kleptoparasitism Cavity Tree Selection The Cavity Tree Cluster6. Social Behavior and Population Biology The Cooperative Breeding System Evolution of the Social System Population Dynamics Population Viability Reproduction General Behavior Territories and Aggression Vocalizations7. Foraging Ecology of Red-cockaded Woodpeckers Foraging Substrates Foraging Behavior Diet Sexual Dimorphism in Foraging Behavior Foraging Requirements Relationships with Other Insectivorous Birds8. Red-cockaded Woodpeckers and Bark Beetles: A Love-Hate Relationship Forest Landscape Interactions Dynamics of a Beetle Infestation Beetle Epidemics9. The Causes of Population Declines The Decline of the Red-cockaded Woodpecker as a Carrying Capacity Problem The Role of Foraging Habitat10. Extinction, Legal Status, and History of Management Extinction Early Roots of Conservation Efforts Designation of Endangered Status and Initial Guidelines Expansion of Scientific Information and Refinement of Management Guidelines Litigation Red-cockaded Woodpeckers on Military Bases Red-cockaded Woodpeckers and Private Lands The Dawn of a New Era Development of New Woodpecker Management Guidelines11. State-of-the-Art Management The New Management Strategy The Optimistic and Pessimistic Futures New Management Policies12. An Uncertain Future Conflicts with Other Conservation Priorities Conflicts with Other Land Use Priorities Legal Challenges ProspectusAppendix. Common and Scientific Names of Species Mentioned in TextSelected References and Additional ReadingsIndex