Good evening, MNN and supporters! I have an excellent story about a Wilmington, N.C., college student who researches populations of Red-cockaded Woodpeckers. Here, Carson Wood discusses what his role is in the research, as well as what he does.
"The project I worked on was through the Conservation Management Institute of Virginia Tech, the goal of the project was to collect and establish baseline population data for a previously unstudied population of Red-cockaded Woodpeckers, the only woodpecker to make cavities in live conifers, in southeast N.C. What my supervisor and I did was essentially collect census data on each cluster of birds, a cluster being a collection of all the cavity trees within a particular bird's territory -- how many males and females, how many helpers per cluster (helpers are either male or female woodpeckers that are typically from the previous breeding season that are the offspring of the adult breeding birds that they are found with at the time)." Mr. Wood went on to say that the most important part of his research was focused solely on collecting that data they discovered so as to allow habitat management personnel to assess what could be done in order to protect these species of birds and find out exactly how they fare in mammalian society.
Founded in 2000, The Conservation Management Institute of Virginia Tech (CMI) is a program that enables students and faculty members to better understand the "multi-disciplinary research questions that affect conservation management effectiveness in Virginia, North America and the world." The program is a grant-funded organization that allows the faculty at Virginia Tech, as well as other institutions looking to further their research, to effectively work together on projects ranging from species that are becoming endangered or already endangered, as well as looking at "natural resource-based" satellite image interpretations. If you would like more information about the CMI, check out http://www.cmiweb.org/
. This website lists what projects the organization is working on and also inform you on how you can support the CMI. Go there! Great information awaits.
Did you know?
Speaking of Red-cockaded Woodpeckers, here are some facts about these wonderful birds!
1) The Red-cockaded Woodpecker is an endangered species.
2) Its scientific name is Picoides borealis.
3) This woodpecker is endangered in the U.S., and is located in the Southeast, from Florida to Virginia and westward to southeast Oklahoma and east Texas.
4) Its size is the basic size of a Cardinal, which is Virginia's state bird.
5) The male has red spots on its nape, which is rarely shown.
6) The female is larger than the male.
7) The cockade is its black cap.
8) It requires a mature pine forest. The pines must be at least 80 years old.
9) Its diet includes ants, roaches, caterpillars, beetles, eggs, larvae and spiders. It rips the bark from trees in order to find its prey.
10) The primary threat is loss of woodland due to logging.