Factors that influence translocation success in the red-cockaded woodpecker

  • Published source details Franzreb K.E. (1999) Factors that influence translocation success in the red-cockaded woodpecker. The Wilson Bulletin, 111, 38-45.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Foster eggs or chicks of woodpeckers with wild conspecifics

Action Link
Bird Conservation

Translocate woodpeckers

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Foster eggs or chicks of woodpeckers with wild conspecifics

    A small study in loblolly Pinus taeda and longleaf P. palustris pine forests in South Carolina, USA (Franzred 1999), found that all three red-cockaded woodpecker Picoides borealis nestlings translocated with their parents died, whereas two nestlings fostered to wild pairs in the release site were successfully raised. One (a female) disappeared after months, the other (a male) successfully bred. This study is discussed in more detail in ‘Translocate individuals’.


  2. Translocate woodpeckers

    Another review (Franzreb 1999) of the same red-cockaded woodpecker Picoides borealis translocation programme as Franzreb 1997, reported that 55% of the 189 nestlings produced between 1986 and 1995 had at least one translocated parent. Two more nestlings were fostered to other birds in the release site, see ‘Foster eggs or chicks with wild conspecifics’ for details. Above fledging age, age and sex had no impact on translocation success, but long-distance translocations were more likely to succeed, because birds moved shorter distances were more likely to return home (25% success for 12 birds moved less than 7 km; 71% for 21 birds moved 19-23 km; 81% for 16 birds moved 182-483 km). All three groups however were equally likely to breed (25%, 57% and 62% of birds breeding in each group respectively). The presence or not, of a resident male did not significantly alter release success. Birds were released directly into natural or artificial nesting cavities after translocation.


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