Habitat use and avoidance by foraging red-cockaded woodpeckers in east Texas
Picoides borealis (Red-cockaded Woodpecker) is an endangered bird endemic to the Pinus (pine) ecosystems of the southeastern US. Mature pine savannahs with a minimal midstory and lush herbaceous groundcover represent high-quality habitat. This study examines the foraging-habitat patterns of Red-cockaded Woodpeckers in East Texas. We present a logistic regression model that best differentiates between foraged and non-foraged habitat. Increases in hardwood-midstory basal area have the greatest negative impact on the probability of Red-cockaded Woodpeckers selecting a habitat patch for foraging. Five additional variables negatively impact foraging probability: shrub height, diameter at breast height (DBH) of pine midstory, canopy closure, density of pine midstory, and density of hardwood midstory. Our model shows a high degree of accuracy as to the probability of habitat-patch selection for Red-cockaded Woodpeckers foraging in East Texas forests composed of different pine species.
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