Endangered in NC

By: Amy White

Which Species did I choose?

I chose the Red-cockaded Woodpecker or the

Picoides borealis.

Where can it be found?

Red-cockaded woodpeckers (Picoides borealis) are found in the southeastern United States. In the past, red-cockaded woodpeckers have been seen as far north as New Jersey and as far south as Florida. Over the past 30 years, their range has become much smaller and is limited to parts of southeastern Virginia, in Sussex and Southampton counties, the eastern half of North Carolina, most of South Carolina, the southern half of Georgia, and the Florida panhandle. They can also be found in Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, western Texas, and in parts of Oklahoma.

Why are they endangered?

Red-cockaded woodpeckers prefer making cavities in longleaf pines. However, longleaf pines are often logged. Many of these trees are cut down before they reach the mature age of about 100 years, which red-cockaded woodpeckers need. So basically their habitats are being destroyed.

What are we doing to help?

In 1979, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) started a recovery plan for the woodpeckers; the plan was rewritten in 1985, and is still on-going. To increase their population, groups such as the USFWS and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) are following updated recovery plans. Efforts to increase their numbers include installing man-made cavities on trees that are too young for red-cockaded woodpeckers to build, growing and protecting mature pines, using controlled fires to help the growth of longleaf pines, and moving female woodpeckers to areas with more males.