Integration of Long-Term Research into a GIS Based Landscape Habitat Model for the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker Page: 3 of 10
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RED-COCKADED WOODPECKER RESEARCH-Franzreb and Lloyd
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Woodpecker reproductive success. Such testing
could not be conducted at the SRS because of
the small Red-cockaded Woodpecker population
size. A controlled experiment was undertaken at
the Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge,
South Carolina, to assess whether southern fly-
ing squirrels adversely affected reproductive
success of Red-cockaded Woodpeckers. The ref-
uge provides habitat that is similar to the Savan-
nah River Site (e.g., Upper Coastal Plain). Red-
cockaded Woodpecker groups that nested in ar-
eas in which flying squirrels had been removed
by ground trapping and during cavity checks
produced significantly more fledglings than con-
trol clusters during both years of this study
(1994 and 1995; Laves and Loeb 1996, Laves
1996). Reproductive rates at the Savannah River
Site (2.5 fledglings/breeding pair in 1994 and
2.1 in 1995) were similar to those in the San-
dhills study for clusters in which flying squirrels
had been removed.
A squirrel excluder device, or SQED, was de-
veloped by Montague et al. (1995) in Arkansas
as a means to control flying squirrels less labo-
riously. It consists of paired strips of aluminum
flashing stapled tightly to the bark above and
below the cavity entrance. During testing of the
new device in Arkansas, Montague et al. (1995)
found that squirrels abandoned 6 of 10 cavities
that had been treated by installing excluder de-
vices, and Red-cockaded Woodpeckers reoccu-
pied 10 of the 11 cavities (one treated cavity was
not occupied previously by squirrels). Recently
SQEDs were tested at the Savannah River Site
in unoccupied Red-cockaded Woodpecker clus-
ters and results indicated that the devices were
effective in impeding cavity use by flying squir-
rels (S. C. Loeb, in press). None of these SQED-
treated cavity trees has been occupied by Red-
cockaded Woodpeckers as of yet (S. C. Loeb,
pers. comm.). At the SRS, a study is underway
to evaluate whether Red-cockaded Woodpeckers
will continue to use cavities after SQEDs have
MONITORING, POPULATION STATUS, AND TRENDS
As part of the intensive monitoring program
for the Red-cockaded Woodpecker at the Savan-
nah River Site, all cavities, whether natural (e.g.,
constructed by the Red-cockaded Woodpecker)
or artificial, are monitored to determine cavity
use. Cavities are checked from a ladder using a
dentist's mirror and flashlight to furnish infor-
mation on the number of eggs, number of nest-
lings, laying and hatching dates, and sex of nest-
lings. Fledging success rate is determined by
counting the number of fledglings in the cluster
soon after the anticipated fledging date.
Every adult on the site is banded with a U.S.
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Franzreb, K. & Lloyd, F.T. Integration of Long-Term Research into a GIS Based Landscape Habitat Model for the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker, article, October 1, 2000; New Ellenton, South Carolina. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc734002/m1/3/: accessed December 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.