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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Use of artificial snags by woodpeckers and other cavity-nesting species in Stephen F. Austin Experimental Forest, Texas, USA

Published source details

Conner R.N. & Saenz D. (1996) Woodpecker excavation and use of cavities in polystyrene snags. Wilson Bulletin, 108, 449-456


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

Provide artificial nesting sites for woodpeckers Bird Conservation

A replicated trial in 1986-91 in five forest types in Texas, USA (Conner & Saenz 1996), found that downy woodpeckers Picoides pubescens excavated cavities in all ten artificial snags installed in upland hardwood forest, and 13 of 17 snags provided in pine-hardwood habitats. However, they did not use any of ten artificial snags installed in pine-only forest, whilst ten in bottomland hardwood forest were not used in 1989, after which they were washed away in floods. Downy woodpeckers did not use snags for nesting and none of the other six woodpeckers in the area used the snags at all. Snags were brown-painted polystyrene cylinders, 26 cm in diameter, 242 cm tall and mounted on iron posts.