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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effect on red-cockaded woodpeckers Picoides borealis of removal of southern flying squirrels Glaucomys volans from potential roost and nest cavities at Camp Blanding Training Site, Florida, USA

Published source details

Kappes J.J. & Davis J.M. (2008) Evidence of positive indirect effects within a community of cavity-nesting vertebrates. The Condor, 110, 441-449


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Reduce inter-specific competition for nest sites of woodpeckers by removing competitor species Bird Conservation

A randomised, replicated and controlled before-and-after study in 2001-2 in 16 sites in longleaf pine Pinus palustris forests in northern Florida, USA (Kappes & Davis 2008) found that culling 168 southern flying squirrels Glaucomys volans from potential red-cockaded woodpecker Picoides borealis breeding cavities over a 12 month period significantly reduced the number of cavities occupied by squirrels (squirrels occupied 0.46 cavities/territory, red-cockaded woodpeckers occupied approximately 2 cavities/territory), compared to control territories but that there was no corresponding increase in cavity occupancy by red-cockaded woodpeckers (squirrels occupied 0.96 cavities/territory, red-cockaded woodpeckers occupied approximately 2 cavities/territory). Instead, there was an increase in occupancy by red-bellied woodpeckers Melanerpes carolinus, another cavity kleptoparasite (1 cavity/territory occupied vs. 0.69 cavities/territory for experimental and control sites respectively). This increase was most noticeable between July-December (a 103% increase compared to controls), when most fledgling red-cockaded woodpeckers acquire cavities.