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Management Techniques for the Red-Cocked Woodpecker
After making the decision to use artificial nesting cavities as a management tool, wildlife managers should attempt to select older trees in their respective areas of responsibility (Copeyon, 1990; Copeyon et al., 1991). Selection of older trees mimics the natural inclination of the red cockaded woodpecker and that older trees have sufficient heartwood development to support large nesting and roosting cavities without sustaining damage (Copeyon, 1990). As indicated previously, red-cockaded woodpeckers generally select trees between 80 and 100 years old depending on species availability.
Copeyon (1990) reveals that an adequate artificial nesting cavity requires an entrance approximately 4.4cm.-6.4cm. in diameter placed at 1-24 meters above ground level. An entrance tunnel should be excavated into the heartwood with the nesting chamber extending down at a right angle to the entrance tunnel to a depth between 20.3 and 27.3cm. (Figure 2) (Copeyon, 1990). Small resin wells are drilled around the tree above and below the entrance site (Copeyon 1990; Rossell and Gorsira, 1996). Seepage from these wells act to discourage competitors and predators (Copeyon, 1990).
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